Parks and Recreation Co-Stars Adam Scott and Aziz Ansari On Entertaining, Party Food and Natural Wines
Actor Adam Scott talks to chef Courtney McBroom and her boyfriend Aziz Ansari about their entertaining habits and why they prefer natural wines.
Adam Scott: Party at your house. Who does what?
Aziz Ansari: It’s definitely awesome to be with someone who has skills in the kitchen. I mix drinks so I feel like I’m contributing something. Lately it’s been margaritas. I’m not going to lie about it: I am not a big margarita guy. But in Mexico we discovered a honey liqueur, Xtabentún, and it has changed my margarita game. I also take charge of the music. These days we’ve been into a lot of Serge Gainsbourg, other ’60s French pop and Italian disco.
Adam: I like having a duty. I’m a terrible cook, but when people come over, if I’m falling between the cracks socially, I can always run away to my job.
Courtney McBroom: With Large Marge, Leslie and I can cook all the food, or we can be drill sergeants and give everyone a job: “Adam, chop the salad!” “Aziz, make the drinks!”
Adam: Courtney, do people freak out when they see your food? It’s beautiful. I was at a Large Marge pop-up. When the food landed on the table, everyone shut up. I’m thinking about that cake.
Courtney: We call it the pralinella icebox cake. I make it with a pecan-praline spread, similar to Nutella, with whipped cream folded in. Chocolate cookies sit with the cream in the fridge and get really soft and cake-like.
Adam: And now you’re famous for your queso. [My wife] Naomi and I gave it out one year as a Christmas gift. Within a few hours, every single person called us wanting to know what the hell was going on and where they could get more.
Courtney: I grew up in Texas. I made it my mission to come up with a good queso.
Aziz: That queso is a dangerous dish.
Adam: At parties you serve the queso with a bunch of funky wines.
Courtney: I’ve been trying to get Aziz into wine for a long time, without luck. Then our good friend Randy Moon, who just launched The Four Horsemen in Brooklyn, introduced him to natural wines. They’re just funkier and more interesting. That turned the tables. They’re great to talk about, like comparing stamp collections: “Oh, have you tried this one?”
Adam: You and Aziz met through food, right?
Courtney: I was working at Momofuku Milk Bar in Manhattan. Someone said, “Aziz Ansari is here!” I didn’t know who he was. A year later we met at an event and bonded over Hokey Pokey cookies. They’re made from smoked oats and a weird New Zealand toffee candy called Hokey Pokey. Milk Bar created them for Band of Outsiders fashion shows. Basically, the Hokey Pokey brought us together.