Paris Hilton Launches New Netflix Cooking Show
In a sparkling black dress with feathered sleeves and high heels, Paris Hilton is in the kitchen cooking a steak with her mom and sister. Before their arrival, she dips a spoon in a box of caviar and gives her dog a bite. 23-karat gold flakes stick to her fingers as she adds them to the homemade truffle butter.
“It’s not the most practical kitchen outfit, but I like to cook in style,” she says as the feathers of her outfit float on the kitchen counter.
Ms. Hilton does not claim to know how to cook. On “Cooking With Paris,” her new six-part cooking series on Netflix, she isn’t afraid to make big mistakes. The program is the latest in a recent wave of cooking shows, like “Selena + Chef” and “Amy Schumer Learns to Cook,” hosted by celebrities who lack culinary experience.
“I love to cook,” Ms. Hilton said in the introduction to her show, which was released in full on Aug. 4. “But I’m not a skilled chef and I’m not trying to be.”
Each episode features a friend of hers, including Kim Kardashian West, Saweetie, and Demi Lovato, helping her prepare meals. Once the cooking is done, they sit down to eat at Ms. Hilton’s house, which she decorates for the dinner theme.
A pink cookbook bearing a portrait of Mrs. Hilton serves as a nod to the viewer. This is where she keeps new recipes, each paragraph a different color.
She finds recipes from a variety of sources and relies on producers with culinary expertise, said Aaron Saidman, executive producer of “Cooking With Paris” as well as “Selena + Chef”, on HBO Max.
Not all of the “Cooking With Paris” dishes are masterpieces. “Even if they fail, everyone can have a good time,” Saidman said. “But in a lot of cases, they made things that were tasty.”
Ms. Hilton’s foray into culinary television follows that of actress Selena Gomez, who used “Selena + Chef” at the start of the pandemic to improve her cooking, and actress Ms. Schumer and her husband, Chef Chris Fischer, who prepared meals on the Food Network.
Celebrities share meals with their fans all the time. Britney Spears showed viewers how to make her favorite sandwich on Instagram. Last weekend, Jennifer Garner uploaded a video to Instagram of her blackberry cobbler cooking with her mom.
Brian Boitano, an Olympic gold medalist figure skater, was ahead of the curve with his Food Network cooking show, “What Would Brian Boitano Do?” which ended in 2010. Many celebrities, he said, have adopted his show’s model.
“The reason Food Network resisted that celebrity chef kind of thing is because they weren’t food experts, and it’s a puzzle because that’s who your eyes are. network, people like me, ”he said.
In her show, Ms. Hilton takes a look at her character as the distraught heiress. Each episode begins with a trip to the grocery store, where she wears glittery masks and outfits more suited to a nightclub than the produce aisle. “Excuse me, sir, what does chives look like?” She asks a worker in one episode. “What do I do with it?” “
She purchases ingredients related to the theme of the episode. In a segment on making an expensive steak dinner, she ponders $ 1,000 truffles; in another, she’s stocked up on fresh flour and corn tortillas, Cotija cheese and tomatillos for the taco night.
When she arrives in her home kitchen, she pulls out her glittering cookware, accidentally scorching gems from her glittering spatula as she flattens vegan burgers on a roasting pan.
Throughout, she launches the word “sliving,” a term she coined to mix up the phrases “kill it” and “live your best life.” (She applied for a trademark on the word for tableware and other wares.)
Other terms seem to escape him. “What is a whip?” What whips up? She asks comedian Nikki Glaser as they prepare vegan burgers, fries and milkshakes.
Mr. Saidman got the idea for Ms. Hilton’s show when he uploaded a 15-minute YouTube video in January 2020 titled “Cooking With Paris.” in which she showed viewers how to make lasagna. The video now has nearly 5.2 million views.
Mr. Saidman had worked with her on her documentary “This Is Paris” and wanted to create something lighter, while turning the new show as a documentary. “We thought it would be fun to delve into his cooking skills, or lack thereof,” he said.
The show sometimes turns to controversial food and ingredient conversations that seem oblivious to current discussions of misrepresenting or whitewashing traditional dishes and ingredients.
Presenting a shrimp taco night episode with Saweetie, Ms. Hilton says, “I like my tacos to be crispy American-style shells with ground beef and cheese, especially if they’re from Taco Bell. But I’m ready to try something totally outside of my comfort zone for tacos.
She buys a taco-shaped piñata. She mispronounces Cotija cheese even as the producers try to help her say it correctly. Speaking of tomatillos for a roasted salsa, she says, “It looks like a weird apple or something, I don’t know. Yesterday at the market I was like, “What the hell is this thing?” “
“She’s trying to learn,” Mr. Saidman said.
Cooking without a clue does something for the viewer, said Kelsi Matwick, senior lecturer at the University of Florida and author of the book “Food Discourse of Celebrity Chefs of Food Network.” Seeing people with no cooking experience make mistakes, she says, creates an intimacy with the viewer, especially for the average home cook.
But it takes a special host to make a cooking show work, Ms Matwick said.
“It’s intimacy at a distance – food show hosts are considered our friends and families,” she said. A chef’s ability to tell stories and relate them to food is more important than any technique, she added. “We are all drawn to stories. “
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