Daphne Oz is one of the beauties of the food industry. Author of the recently published Relish, and television host on ABC’s The Chew, Oz has become one of those onscreen personalities we’re sort of crushing on. Off screen she also happens to be just as charming. We photographed the pregnant and glowing Oz at Buvette (charming talent, charming venue) and chatted on all things gastronomic. The chic soon-to-be New York Mom is about to make your Monday; the first line of her ideal food day alone is an all-time new potato favorite.
The New Potato: What would be your ideal food day?
Daphne Oz: "Am I being naughty or nice? Nice: a smoothie loaded with frozen fruit, a handful of kale or spinach, fresh lime juice, yogurt or almond milk, flax and/or chia seeds, and almond butter for breakfast. A tasty sandwich with whole grain bread for lunch (egg salad or avocado with hummus, turkey, cheese, lettuce, and spicy sandwich peppers). A salad with a bright dressing, roasted vegetables, and grilled chicken or glazed baked fish for dinner with fresh fruit for dessert. Naughty: an everything bagel with cream cheese for breakfast. A perfect french baguette with burrata, ripe tomato, basil, and a drizzle of garlic-chili oil for lunch. Roasted chicken, crisp french fries, and a salad with bright dressing for dinner, and brownie a la mode for dessert. And, (post-baby come March) lots and lots of wine."
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How do you always start your day? What’s your morning routine?
"On days when I have to get to the studio, I’m up just before 6 a.m. and do a quick, ten-minute workout routine that used to be more intense yoga and jumprope, but is now just leg and butt lifts and a series of arm weights, plus one minute of meditation. Then I make my smoothie and walk up to work. I have breakfast (toast with almond butter, oatmeal, paleo granola and yogurt, or gluten-free cereal) while I’m in hair and makeup, and a glass of yuzu green tea. Then we tape two ridiculously fun shows!
On days when we’re not taping, I try to sleep a little later, but this baby likes to get up early. I make myself a more luxurious breakfast. I’m a big fan of egg sandwiches and breakfast burritos these days, but sometimes I’ll whip up a pancake or two, too. Then I answer all the emails I let pile up over the week while I drink my tea and pretend not to secretly be on Pinterest and Tumblr. Then I’ll food shop, walk my errands, and take any meetings I have on the schedule. I also try to walk three to five miles a day, so sometimes I’ll just get a podcast on my iPhone and wander if I have free time."
What’s always on set with you?
"Green juice and my iPhone so I can be capturing all the behind-the-scenes shenanigans."
Your on-set snack?
"I love citrus, and clementines and grapefruits are amazing right now. But, they always have that bowl of pita chips lurking in craft services that calls my name."
What’s your drink?
"Green juice. More water than you think any human could possibly drink. Tequila, soda, and tons of fresh lime."
"Bringing an uninvited guest to a sit-down dinner, being rude to other guests, and being a bad conversationalist."
What’s a favorite childhood memory/recipe with your parents?
"Making my dad’s birthday German chocolate cake every year with my mom."
What won’t you travel without?
"An eye mask and eye/face cream, a cozy shawl, and a sweater to ball into a pillow, and my headphones and iPad/computer."
What products are always inside your bathroom mirror?
"I only use virgin coconut oil to take off all my makeup — it works like a charm, even on heavy-duty TV foundation and waterproof mascara, and is of course clear of all the toxins and additives that can be found in conventional cleansers. It’s also antibacterial, so it prevents acne, while being super hydrating. Triple threat! I also love the whole Dr. Hauschka line of products."
In the same vein as “What is the new black?” what is “the new potato” of food?
"Finger limes! They’re packed with these little pearls that look like caviar but are green and bursting with fresh lime flavor. I’m not sure how they’re going to be used, but they’re magical. Also, goat milk frozen yogurt at Victory Garden."
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Do you watch other food TV? What are your go-tos?
"Sadly, I don’t really get to watch much TV anymore! I only really get to catch up on planes. I download entire seasons of Scandal, Homeland, The Good Wife, and Game of Thrones to watch when I’m traveling. And I obviously I watched Breaking Bad religiously. But if I did watch food TV, I love me some Ina Garten."
What’s different about The Chew than all other food shows?
"It’s really a party in the kitchen. We treat food the way families and friends do — it’s something to bond over, savor, and learn from while we share about ourselves. The five of us love to get into the kitchen and just shoot the shit, make fun of each other, and hang out the way you do when you’re entertaining people you really like. It is a wonderfully warm and welcoming environment that’s so easy to be a part of, and I think our audience can really tell how much fun we’re having. We get paid to eat delicious food and hang out with great friends!"
Any pre-shoot routines with your co-anchors? What are they?
"Carla [Hall] and I have to get in before the boys since we do hair and makeup first, so we’ll catch up on what happened the night before. She always has some wild and ridiculous story that could only happen to her. Then the boys arrive and we do our rundown and rehearsal with the executives and producers, which is typically where the day’s slew of inside jokes and double entendres begin — it’s just like being back in the dorm."
"Carla Hall loves to compliment strangers and has no idea how many pairs of glasses she owns. Michael Symon drinks a green juice every morning. Clinton Kelly sometimes wears the same sweater home after shooting and back to work the next day. Mario Batali makes his sons breakfast each morning and goes to every parent teacher meeting and after-school activity."
Best food item ever sent to the set?
"Eric Ripert brought these special Carolina shrimps to the show that were hands down the most succulent, delicious little devils anyone of us had ever tasted."
What are your vices?
"Perfect New Jersey bagels, homemade cookie dough and cake batter, lattes with whole milk, and red wine."
What are five things you’re loving right now?
"Cozy sweaters, Christmas music, online shopping (and sales!), anything and everything baby, Anita Ko jewelry, and stacked rings in general."
What are your favorite cities for food, and where do you go in each?
"Los Angeles: Not really a restaurant, but I love Pressed Juicery in L.A. Their spiced almond milk is to die for. I’m a cardamom fiend, and this shake is the most delicious (and caffeine-free!) chai you’ve ever had. Malo in Silverlake makes amazing Mexican food. Their salsa crema should be illegal it’s so addictive; same goes for the margaritas. I love the chopped vegetable salad at The Ivy. The grilled artichoke at Newsroom Café is my all-time favorite (they get the perfect char, and their aioli dipping sauce is a gift from beyond). Cube makes this tomato, peach, and burrata salad that is crazy good. Gjelina has my favorite pizza anywhere — The Marinara. It’s vegan, and even without the cheese it puts everyone else to shame. Make sure to ask for the extra oregano and chili flakes on the side. And, Osteria Mozza’s butterscotch budino would be my last dessert on earth.
Philadelphia: Pure Fare (amazing paleo and gluten-free everything, great coffee, and juices that are ice cold and perfect), Hip City Veg (easy, fast, and healthy), and Vedge (all vegan everything) are my go-to “healthy” spots in Philly. But, when I go out to eat, I’m not always on the hunt for the healthiest of the healthy — I like a good balance. I love Vernick. It has an old-school marble bar with killer cocktails and unreal food; the seasonal toasts are creative and perfect, and I love the pots of seafood roasted in their wood-burning oven. Talula’s Garden has beautiful outdoor seating and a creative menu that is constantly updating with what’s in season. And, Osteria is my other must in Philly. My husband John and I always start with the mixed vegetable antipasto to make up for the decadent and totally worth-it pizza we order next!
New York City: Victory Garden has that great, goat’s milk frozen yogurt I was telling you about — and delicious salad options. Hatsuhana for amazing quality but affordable sushi. I love the fish tacos on fresh corn tortillas at Móle in the West Village. For me, they’re the perfect balance of healthy and indulgent, so long as I don’t devour the entire basket of chips before they arrive. I eat at ABA for homestyle Turkish food — a fresh shepherd’s salad, lebne, hummus, grape leaves, lentil soup, and the doner kebab with pilaf is perfection. Candle Café makes a paradise casserole that is sweet potato, sautéed greens, and a grain with gravy — so hearty and so good for you. Esca’s crudo options are insane — I’ve missed them so much while I’ve been pregnant! I love Café Mogador for delicious Moroccan inspired mezze and mint tea. Lovely Day and I Sodi are both, well, lovely. It is worth every minute of the hour commute and wait to get to Di Fara Pizza — they don’t mess around. Num Pang for delicious Bánh Mi sandwiches. And, of course, Buvette — where we did our photo shoot — has an incredible brunch that is great for leisurely weekend dining when you want to pretend you’re tucked away in Paris.
San Francisco: Bar Tartine for their amazing toasts and perfect croissants, The Slanted Door for the best Vietnamese cooking ever, and Swan Oyster Depot for fresh seafood in the most amazingly laid-back of settings. And, the Ferry Plaza Farmer’s Market where I make a beeline for Cap’n Mike’s Holy Smoke Fish for his open-faced sandwich on Acme bread with homemade cream cheese, the best smoked fish, pickled onions, capers, and relish."
"I like to make the host or hostess a little personalized gift basket. I’ll do a little mix of culinary finds, chocolate and wine, or a mini candle for the kitchen in lemon verbena or herb scents to help get rid of cooking smells, and sometimes vitamins or immune boosters like colloidal silver, especially if we’re hitting cold season. I arrange them in a little galvanized tin bucket and wrap in cellophane. It’s personalized, thoughtful, and unique, which is the best way to appreciate someone else’s hard work.
When I’m hosting, I always make sure to have a cheese platter, honey, grapes, and an assortment of crackers. I also put out a signature cocktail, or a couple of selections of wine and bubbly in a beverage tub filled with ice so guests can help themselves. I find it puts them at ease, and frees me up to do any last-minute things. And, of course, candles and a vase of fresh flowers go a long way towards setting the right ambiance!"
If you could host a dinner party with any five people living or dead, who would be there? What would you cook (or order in)?
"Julia Child, Gerhard Richter, Oprah Winfrey, Diane Sawyer, and Bob Hope. I would order in pizza and beer and then just shut up and let them talk and listen in. It would be wild!