When we heard Lance Bass was teaming up with online meal kit service Chef'd for a line of Southern-inspired recipes, we admit—we were a little surprised. Bass hasn't been a big presence in the culinary world. Yet. But that's all about to change.
Chef'd, which delivers kits containing recipes and ingredients to home cooks around the country, recently debuted five recipes created by Bass—Orange Cranberry Chicken, Ranch Pork Chops, Baked Chicken and Creamy Rice Casserole, Chocolate Chip Pound Cake, and Mama's Coconut Cake. All were inspired by his family's southern cooking, especially his mother and his "mimi."
"My mimi—you know, my grandmother—is one of the best cooks. I didn't even realize how good I had it growing up until I moved away. I'm like, oh my gosh! The food's just not as good as what my family does," Bass explained in an interview with The Feast.
With these recipes, Bass—who grew up in Mississippi—hopes to give everyone the chance to "taste what the South tastes like." The orange cranberry chicken, served with a spinach-blueberry salad, is a slightly healthier option, he explained, while the ranch pork chops—which have an "amazing" sauce—come with a side of green beans with bacon. "That's as southern as you get, right there," he said.
Ranch Pork Chops With Southern Green Beans
His favorite desserts also made the cut. "Two of my favorite cakes ever is my momma's coconut cake and my mimi's chocolate bundt cake," he gushed. "I mean, the chocolate one is just so gooey because it's made with chocolate pudding. And then the coconut one is just so decadent and amazing."
Mama's Coconut Cake
Bass became a fan of Chef'd when he was temporarily living in New York City and didn't have time to go grocery shopping. "I started ordering these meal kits from all different types of companies, and then I stumbled upon Chef'd and fell in love with it," he explained. "I don't like to be told what to cook, you know, I love that they just have a whole menu of things to choose from."
"I'm the one who reached out to them," he added. "I was like, I love this so much that I would love for y'all to have some of my recipes. So yeah, I'm a fan."
He may be relatively new to the culinary scene, but Bass always had an interest in cooking. He dabbled in the kitchen as a kid but was afraid to show too much interest. "I was always scared to really help out because growing up in Mississippi, it was the girl thing to do. And even as a kid I knew I was gay so I didn't want it to seem like…I wanted to hide the fact that I was gay. So getting in the kitchen, to me, was always stressful, because I didn't want them to figure it out," Bass revealed.
As he got older, however, his mom noticed that he loved being in the kitchen and took him under her wing. In fact, the two of them competed earlier this year on Fox's cooking competition reality show, My Cooking Rules, hosted by Curtis Stone and Cat Cora.
"It was a fun bonding experience with my mom," Bass said. "I grew up watching her in the kitchen and she kinda taught me everything that I know, so it was really nice to get in the kitchen and show everyone what we are passionate about." (The pair finished second in the competition!)
He may have been fascinated with cooking as a kid, but Bass was a picky eater who only liked meat and potatoes back then. "I didn't like any vegetables, anything like that. But the older I got, and especially my husband, he's the one who kind of taught me how to love vegetables," he explained, adding that the only thing he won't eat these days is cilantro. "I'm just one of those people that has that genetic gene in their tongue that it tastes like soap and it's just terrible, so one little speck of cilantro would ruin a whole meal for me."
Lance Bass in the kitchen with husband Michael Turchin
Fresh truffles, however, are right up his alley—in fact, they're his all-time favorite ingredient. "I just love the flavor of truffles…it just really elevates any kind of meal," he enthused, adding that it's important to use fresh truffles, not truffle oil. "There's nothing like shaving some real truffle on top of an Italian dish or even crisping it up and putting it on top of sushi."
But for his last meal on earth, Bass would stick to something way more accessible. "I'd probably have a Double-Double from In-N-Out. I mean, might as well go out big," he said. Animal-style, of course; but he'd skip the fries—he's "not a big fan."
"That's why I get an extra Double-Double," he explained. "That's my side of fries."
A double order of Double-Doubles? Bass is definitely a foodie after our own hearts.
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