Season 3 Episode 3


Season 3 Episode 3


Carina Imbornone reviews recipes from Azealia Banks’ Insta-stories & beyond 🔪🍄

Words by Carina Imbornone
Images by Annie Millman, shot for Cultural Fan Fiction

Posted March 30, 2021

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I’ve before said that my ideal celebrity dinner is with Roxane Gay, Chrissy Teigen, Bari Weiss, Alison Roman, Grimes, Gwyneth Paltrow, Azealea Banks, Kendall Jenner and Lady Gaga (Tisch era). Such a dinner would be held at Martha Stewart’s 153-acre upstate farm estate after a strict NDA and live-streamed on Peacock+. Of course, the party would commence after 2 weeks of multiple health screens and asking everyone to quarantine.

At a time when celebrities have to be good at everything and also must have perfect opinions, it is no longer enough to simply sing or act—one must be able to cook (unless one is Stanley Tucci, in which case you are allowed to host a travel show). Unlike celebrity chefs, famous for their food first, these celebrities were never expected to put out a cookbook or julienne an onion on TV. But these days, people—even people in Manhattan, even famous people—have been cooking. When watching Alison Roman teaching us how to pair shallots with anchovies, we know what we’re getting into; for the public figures more celebrity than chef, well, there is room to open the fridge and find out.

On a Saturday night in Brooklyn, I invited my friend and captive sous chef Brent, at 7 PM sharp, to cook and sample five meals with me, from celebrities that had become celebrity food icons. My rules for the evening were as follows: the chef’s cookery had to be a true cause-célèbre, the dish could not be from a cuisine I am unknowledgeable about (fortunately for this article—I am 25% Italian) and the flavor artist had to be currently famous for non-food reasons. This brave little home-cook decided to investigate.


On a bright, socially distant January morning, Ms. Chrissy Teigen descended upon the White House to whip up some simple meals for Joe, Kamala, Ella, and Hunter. That didn’t happen in reality, sure, but it occurred spiritually. The great big pie of America is once again crumbling towards freedom, and Teigen is in charge of snacks.

Maybe the best way to talk about this dish is to tell a little story. In 2018, I walked into a movie theatre in Paris to watch the English version of 'A Star is Born'. In the opening scene, Lady Gaga sings in a bathroom, and in my screening of the film, she sang in French. What were the chances—that the opening number was in French, and that I also happened to be in France! I was positively titillated. And then Lady Gaga actually opened her mouth, and I realized I had walked into a French-language dub of A Star is Born. Merde! I walked out and refunded my ticket for the next English showing. That is the exactly the experience of how eating this felt. At first I had great hope, despite what I should have expected, and the first taste was interesting—even a little thrilling, as my mind recognized that perhaps I was eating grits—and then I realized that the dish was not at all grits, and it was not anything I could actually understand.

Pairs with whipped coffee.


During the pandemonious pandemic, I’ve convinced myself that Turmeric will keep me illness free and immortal, so this mocktail is an automatic yes. Millennial Wellness Brands—Whole Foods, Malin + Goetz, and now, maybe Goop—have long ago sunk their teeth into my brain and proved to the girlbosses that marketing works. Sex doesn’t sell anymore; immortality, or at least the avoidance of giving your employees healthcare, does. The number one site of my covid escapism, it should be no surprise, is Whole Foods; I often take a long walk to the store after work and buy one tiny item for $4.59.

I was pleasantly Gooped here. The addition of Turmeric to ginger tea was pleasant, subtle, and strangely, light. I felt healthier, softer, more human. I started speaking in sans serif, but with a touch of serif at the ends of my sentences, just to seem well and engaged, like an informed voter.

Integral to this cup is aquafava, aka the liquid in chickpea cans. As an egg cocktail lover, I was pleased to find that this substitute for egg white produced peaks that lasted longer than I remember my egg cocktails peaking, and the veggie fritters were a nice cheat on a juice cleanse regimen I will never do; Gwyneth calls it "the last meal of detox week" for when "you’re tuckered out, so you want it to be simple, and you’ve got random odds and ends left over that you need to use. A fritter, then. To end on a fritter is a delicate note.

If you alternate between onions, carrots, and cabbage, this fritter is a deliciously composed combination of soft and hard textures of these foods, fried.

The Ginger Turmeric Sour Mocktail and the veggie fritters pair with each other; you can consciously uncouple them with a side dish of McDonald’s fries (small).


Kelis is an incredible chef who has really taken the 'I could teach you, but I’d have to charge' mentality from farm to table. Unfortunately, the Kelis cookbook is out of print (orrr, $494.99 on online—who marks up out-of-print books so much on Amazon, anyway?). It’s near impossible to find a Kelis recipe in full on the internet—just some Standard Definition Youtube videos that disregard any record of proportion. A dash of curry. Add goat cheese. Can we toast that English Muffin? (She has a really, really good talking voice.) And the thing is, it doesn’t matter because she is so fucking good. Most people have not enjoyed a turkey burger, like ever, but this one is phenomenal. The curry spice in the turkey patty cuts so well against unlikely companions, goat cheese and banana peppers; the english muffin revived my love of english muffins from a years-long drought. If you have Not Been Keeping Up with Kelis, she also makes artisanal jams under her low-key high-key brand, Bounty and Full. Kelis lives on a farm now; she’s fully committed to the bit. She’s even holding dead chickens on Instagram.

Pairs with a single Delirium Tremens.


Frozen peas—is everything okay, Candle? You can definitely make this one at home. I really adore Kenny Jenny as much as—more than—the next girl, and she has excellent interior decorating sense, and a beautiful kitchen, but this meal is very perplexing to be posted online. And why was this spilled to People, and not featured on Poosh, the new Kourtney Kardashian lifestyle brand? And what is with Poosh forming a sight rhyme with Goop, similar in appearance but not substance?

Does not pair; does not drink with meals (forgot).


Azealia Banks is so much more than the mere chef of cat soup. Soooo much more. These tacos are like if Taco Bell was made by your grandmother. Azealia Banks is a culinary genius and she can do whatever she wants! In this jawdropping instagram story (the new cinematic medium of choice),she makes the perfect hard shell taco—insides solid enough to not make the hardshell soggy, topped with a very avant slaw—but the best part of the production is that the finished product is yet untold; her tacos do not see the light of story. They are metaphysical, in flux, a one of one. They do not exist yet and they are delicious! And if you keep watching she makes a fried potato salad! Honey that’s french fries! Her mind, constantly rebranding!

Pairs with a fine, fine wine.


Something about the Kardashians screams Hello Fresh meal kit and the uncanny dissonance between soulless and divine. This is the kind of food a lawyer-to-be-on-tv would make. I should just tell you now that I didn’t make this plant based because I had none of the ingredients to make this plant based. I used flour, panko, and eggs. I’m a sweet kid, but I will sometimes just use flour, panko, and eggs when the recipe calls for substitutes. The eggplant fingers—no sauce—are surprisingly easy and delightful; greasy enough but ultimately healthy, trashy but altogether ultimately avoiding wealth tax, somewhere warm—somewhere we could pretend things were normal just for a brief moment in time.

Pairs with Smartwater.

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