When Cameron Diaz, Wesley Snipes and Robert De Niro crave comfort food, where do they go? To the restaurants they own, of course, where serious chefs are turning out food with its own star quality.
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Celebrity-owned restaurants are nothing new--for years they've been known for great T-shirts and terrible food. But lately, A-list actors, athletes, musicians and fashionistas have been enlisting high-caliber chefs to head up their places. For the stars, the food not only represents the quality they're accustomed to, it also reflects their own (good) taste. Take Cameron Diaz. In Miami to shoot There's Something About Mary, she befriended the owner of The Hotel Astor, and the two decided to invest in an Asian restaurant--something they agreed the city was sorely lacking. The result is Bambú, which opened in Miami Beach last January with local star chef Norman Van Aken. When Diaz hangs out at Bambú, she orders her favorite comfort food, green curry chicken. Indeed, celebrities seem to love comfort food as much as the rest of us do. When Robert Duvall bought The Rail Stop in The Plains, Virginia, he put his mother's crab cakes on the eclectic American menu. And Wesley Snipes, who opened China One in West Hollywood with a partner, Donna Wong, can't get enough of the spicy fried rice. But unlike owners who see their restaurants as meal tickets, Snipes pays. "Everybody pays," Wong says firmly. "But sometimes I'll give Wesley a free appetizer."
--Researched by Lily Barberio