- Elizabeth Gilbert on Kombucha, Fried Chicken and Shots of Bourbon
- Grant Achatz Masterminds the Roving Restaurant
- Brooks Headley's Secret to Exceptional Desserts: Negative Space
- A Case for Weak Cocktails
- Dan Barber Wonders Why Cooking Has to Start in the Kitchen
- Restaurateur Jason Hammel Questions Conventional Recipe Wisdom
- Cameron Diaz's Secret Weakness: White Bread Soaked in Beef Fat
- Ezra Klein Got Drunk at El Bulli, Respects the Big Mac
- Beastie Boys' Mike D on His Wine Conversion and the Bottles That Got Away
- Yo La Tengo's Ultimate Food Guide
Olivia Wilde, star of the new comedy Drinking Buddies, loves good IPAs and deep-fried PB&Js.
You recently Tweeted about eating a deep-fried peanut butter and jelly sandwich: "Never in my life has my stomach orgasmed so mightily." Where did you encounter such a thing?
Yeah, I didn't know that existed, and now I'm ruined. I'm gonna turn into Marlon Brando. I had it at the Malibu Inn, which is a great music venue and bar right on the Pacific Coast Highway. My fiancé ordered the deep-fried PB&J—they use waffle batter, so it's not too bready. The way the peanut butter and jelly melt together is far better than I could have imagined. It's pretty much the ultimate stoner food.
Your character in Drinking Buddies works at a brewery and constantly drinks beer—usually stout. What did you actually drink during production?
It was always real beer. I drank gallons of beer for this movie! We were getting a lot of it from Revolution Brewing, where our characters work in the movie, which is a real brewery in Chicago. Even though I'm Irish and I love Guinness, dark, dark, dark beers aren't usually my thing. I like a good, aromatic IPA.
Did you have a decent knowledge of beer before doing the movie?
It was all acquired in the process. On the first day, we were doing research at Three Floyds Brewing Company, and the wort—this boiling, thick, serum-y liquid—splashed into my eyeball. It did not feel good, but I wanted to play it cool and be tough, you know, because I didn't want to be a sissy. So I kept it together. Now I have become a total beer snob. I'm the annoying person who takes forever in the beer aisle at Whole Foods, because I'm standing there going, "Hmm. I'm not sure. I'm not sure if that's a good selection. Do you have anything in the back? Is this local? I've never heard of this one. How hoppy is this?" And other people are just like, "Please, move on."
How about wine?
Oh yeah, I'm a wino. I won't say there's one grape I like best, though, because I do like blends. Do you know The Prisoner? That's a blend of Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. That's just a fabulous wine. But my favorite wine of all time is a Napa Valley Cabernet called Scarecrow. It's mailing-list only, so it's hard to find, but if you ever see a bottle of Scarecrow, get it.
You mostly live in New York City these days. Any favorite restaurants?
I have recently fallen in love with an Italian restaurant downtown called Carbone. I've always found sea urchin to be too fishy, but at Carbone, they serve a sea urchin dish that is incredible. It's just garlicky and buttery and amazing. They also make the best linguine vongole I've ever had.
You've spoken about "self-medicating" with food during tough times. What are your comfort foods of choice?
For me, my number one comfort food—the food that really feels like a hug on the inside—is pasta. Probably a fresh linguine with arrabbiata sauce would be my top pick. Maybe I'd have some bread on the side, with some cheese or olive oil, too. I guess I crave the basic, carby things that we're not supposed to eat.
When I was in Japan a little while ago, I picked up the idea of having miso soup for breakfast, which I think is genius. When you wake up at 5 a.m. and you feel cold and nauseous, it fills you up and warms you up, and it's loaded with nutrients.