A Peak Offscreen with #FBC14’s Favourite ‘Secret Celebrity Chefs’

Hollywood star Julia Roberts loves to ‘feed’ people. The August: Osage County actress recently revealed in a TV interview her number one hobby is rustling up comforting and nutritious meals for her family – twins Hazel and Phinnaeus, son Henry, and husband Daniel Moder. Speaking on morning TV show Lorraine, she said: ‘I do love to feed people! I love to eat, and I love to cook and I love to feed people. To me it’s the more the merrier. It’s something that I enjoy doing.’

Digging a little deeper and we discovered Julia, 46, has spilled on her love of cooking in the 2013 December issue of Marie Claire US too. She said: ‘It’s my privilege and an honour to cook three meals a day for my family, and it’s a luxury on a level that I didn’t even realise.’ Who knew (apart from you Pretty Woman obsessed fans) the star was an avid home cook?

This got us thinking. Are there any other celebrities who love to roll their sleeves up and get busy in the kitchen? Try new concoctions, or recreate old classics and family recipes? Is there a whole collective of secret celebrity chefs out there?


Julia Roberts enjoys a pizza in Eat, Pray, Love. Photo by Plan B Entertainment.

Let’s see, Julia was overjoyed to work with Meryl Streep on their Oscar-nominated new drama. Both are incredible talented actresses no doubt. But turns out Meryl possesses her own culinary skills, albeit it sometimes reluctantly or modestly.  

In a recent Vanity Fair interview Julia was quick to praise Streep’s culinary generosity as she whipped up hearty home cooked meals for members of the cast as they rehearsed scenes of their new film around a dinner table.


Meryl Streep whips up a pie in Julie & Julia. Photo by Columbia Pictures

While August co-star Margo Martindale recalled the experience with entertainment website Vulture.com, she said: ‘Meryl cooked. She would be like, “Come over! I’m making this.” “Come over! I’m making that.” She can cook. Oh my goodness. She can cook anything. She’s Meryl Streep!

And Margo added: ‘Think about it. She has an enormously large family. She cooks for everybody. I think it’s one of her joys. I’m speaking out of school, but she seems to really love it. She made these incredible, incredible small lamb chops, like I’ve never tasted before. Unbelievable salads.’

Could Meryl’s cooking prowess be down to her enormous family or have anything to do with her role playing Julia Child in 2009 American drama- comedy Julie & Julia?

It’s a more digestible idea than the Hollywood star having more than one amazing talent, a talent she reserves just for her time off set too. But of course the actress herself is as modest and humble like the dishes she makes. She said: ‘Some nights I like it, some nights I don’t. I’ve started meals and then just said, “Oh God!” and thrown it in the sink…and said, “We’re getting pizza, that’s it”’.

Nora Ephron cookbook

Nora Ephron cooks a lemon tart for the opening of Julie & Julia. Photography by LA Times.

On the subject of ultimate foodie flick Julie and Julia though, the late Nora Ephron who wrote the film’s screenplay is another super-talent – screenwriter, feminist, journalist, comedian and passionate foodie.

She also wrote the 1986 novel Heartburn, the story of a food writer who suffers through a marriage to a philandering reporter – or her ‘novel with recipes’. Her passion for cooking was made most evident in Julie & Julia, but Nora’s love affair with food, cooking, eating was sparked long before she penned the script. She has cooked with legend Martha Stewart and likes her butter salted and in abundance. Summing her passion for more the merrier cooking she said: ‘If there is a Nora Ephron signature anything it is that there’s slightly too much food.’ So as a food lover she was always one of us right up until she sadly died in 2012.

Amy Adams as "Julie Powell" in Columbia Pictures' Julie & Julia.

Amy Adams presents her trussed duck in Julie & Julia. Photo by Columbia Pictures

And even without the the cook book/ show/ product line and such paraphernalia, it is obvious food was always an integral part of her work. But who else is keeping their foodie charms under lock and key…

Here’s a breakdown of some of our favourite secret celebrity chefs – why not tell us if you have any one vital we have missed? 


Scarlett Johansson loves to relax by cooking. Photo by SodaStream

Scarlett Johansson
This Hollywood actress loves to de-stress through cooking. ‘I like cooking alone – I find it very therapeutic. I put on some music, maybe have a glass of wine, and maybe something like a turkey bolognese or a nice frittata,’ she told InStyle in 2010.

David Beckham
Victoria has always said that David is the main chef of the Beckham family.


David Beckham enjoys some fish fingers. Photo by Daily Mail.

Jake Gyllenhaal
‘If I wasn’t acting I’d be a cook, or working on the line in a kitchen, which is actually a dream of mine,” said Jake Gyllenhaal during a recent BBC interview. ‘I don’t have anything I like to cook especially, but I like to go down to the farmers’ market and then cook with what’s in season. I like to go back to the old school, Beastie-Boys style with my cooking. It’s all about the fresh produce!’

Jourdan Dunn
Forget she’s super slim, beautiful and an international clothes horse. Model Jourdan Dunn knows her way around a kitchen. And her post-catwalk career is sewn up thanks to her YouTube cooking series, humorously called Well Dunn with Jourdan Dunn.

Blake Lively
The Gossip Girl actress has a special section of her kitchen devoted to baking cupcakes. She cites celebrity chefs Nigella Lawson and Paula Deen as her idols, and one day wants to open a restaurant of her own. She told Allure magazine: ‘I want to have a brunch place, a bakery and a Southern restaurant — because my family’s from Georgia — and then I want a place that is all-over-the-world cuisine.’


Actress Blake Lively makes cake pops with blogger Bakerella. Photo by Bakerella



Judy Cogan
Content Creator


Judy (@Judycogan) is a freelance journalist who started out as a hack and now writes and edits food, travel and lifestyle features for national newspapers and magazines in the UK, the Middle East and beyond. With constantly itchy feet she loves to travel and has visited countries including China, India and Norway getting involved in the local culture and making good friends as she goes – then writing about them! On Judy’s first visit to Lebanon in March she fell for the country in a big way through its delicious food and lovely people (who like to eat and drink as much as she does). A chefs dream, she likes her steaks still mooing, curries hot and is slowly learning it’s not always a good idea to announce ‘I’ll eat anything!’ in different parts of the world.



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