This story was originally published on February 28, 2017.
Debbie Solomon was Rihanna's first personal chef ever. When they first started working together four years ago, it was a whirlwind. "First was Super Bowl at her house. Deep end. Then her twenty-fifth birthday party in Hawaii. Then tour. I didn't know what the fuck I was doing," Solomon told Bon Appetit.
In order to understand the food Rihanna liked, she consulted an expert: her mother. Solomon's from Jamaica, while Rihanna likes Barbadian and Guyanese dishes. These are pretty similar, except their names change wherever you go, making the job extra confusing.
But the hardest part of of cooking for Rihanna is that her tastes change as quickly as her professional projects. Or, as Solomon puts it, she's "a moody eater." The chef has had to treat the pop star very differently from her other clients. Normally, she said, "I would send in a menu on a Sunday or Monday and they would pick for the week, and then I'd be able to shop and prep, but this is nothing like that. We don't know what we're gonna want to eat tomorrow, so why even pick today?"
Rihanna does have a few consistent favorites, though, and they make us really want to dine with her. In addition to staples like pasta, meat, and veggies, she packs spices like curry and cumin seeds when she travels to make sure her food never gets bland.
This seems to fit with Solomon's culinary philosophy that we all deserve the finest. "There shouldn't be shame in eating food," she said. However, she added, "If I take a bite of something and it's shitty to me, I'm not just going to eat it because I’m hungry. I'm going to stop eating that shitty thing." Sounds like RiRi's in good hands.