New York Times bestselling author Daphne Oz talks about her newest book, "Eat Your Heart Out: All-Fun, No-Fuss Food to Celebrate Eating Clean," which launches in April. In addition to The Good Dish, which launched January 2022 nationwide, she is thrilled to be the newest judge to join the cast of FOX's MasterChef Junior.
She is an Emmy Award-winning TV host, natural foods chef, wife and mama of four. A graduate of Princeton University, The Institute for Integrative Nutrition and the Natural Gourmet Institute, she is focused on innovation in food and beverage, beauty, wellness, fashion and media.
We sat down with Daphne Oz to learn more about her journey to home entertainment, and scroll to the end of this article for six of Daphne's favorite recipes!
City Lifestyle: Share with us your background and the influence it had on your journey to where you are today.
Daphne Oz: I was born in Philly, raised in New Jersey, and now my husband and our four kids and I live in Florida. I spend a few days each week working in NYC taping our new syndicated talk show, The Good Dish, covering everything delicious in daytime which is a dream job for an eater by nature, by calling and by choice—like I am.
My mother’s family is part Italian and my father’s family is Turkish, and these two incredible food cultures inform so much of how I grew up eating and how I love to cook now. The vibrance of flavors, passion for gathering family and friends to the table, and effortless ways in which simple meals become beautiful memories are just some of the ways I try to infuse all my cooking with the joy of this heritage.
I’ve been to culinary school, but every bite I take continues my education, and the foundation of my love of cooking started at my mother’s and grandmother’s elbows, watching and then helping them whip up these delicious, nourishing meals for their big families. A perfect example of the kind of epically memorable, wonderfully simple recipes I grew up on is my Grandmother’s Eggless Caesar Salad. It’s bright with lemon and garlic, one or two secret ingredients, plenty of pecorino and parmesan cheese, and ultra-creamy despite no raw eggs! It’s one of my absolute favorite salads, so I made it into an IGTV recipe video about a year ago that has been viewed nearly 7.5 million times online. I get giddy every time someone shares a photo or video of them making it at home.
The vibrance of flavors, passion for gathering family and friends to the table, and effortless ways in which simple meals become beautiful memories are just some of the ways I try to infuse all my cooking with the joy of this heritage.
CL: What are your tips for hosting a memorable dinner party at home?
DO: When I entertain, my general approach is: Abundant Simplicity. Appetizers are generous piles of a few different things – olives, hunks of parmesan, spiced nuts, torn bread with herby oil to dunk in, sliced Persian cucumbers with a pool of labne or Greek yogurt, olive oil, and flaky salt for dipping. I look for recipes that are simple or that I’ve made 100 times before that are always crowd pleasers and leave me plenty of time to enjoy my company. The whole point of a beautiful evening together is to make sure you, the host, are relaxed and comfortable, because your guests will take their cue from you. I always set a drink out that guests can help themselves to when they arrive, which frees my hands up to continue any final preparations and has the added benefit of helping them get comfortable and feel right at home..
I like to think my decorating melds are simple, elegant and polished with very plush, soft, round edges, and I love anything that feels handmade with a story to tell. I love making edible centerpieces and will put tons of bowls and platters out in the center of the table spilling over with fresh produce or herbs in terracotta planters that guests can help themselves to. I enjoy colorful glasses, tons of gold candlesticks, and then handmade ceramic plates and pretty, linen napkins to keep it textural.
If you’re looking for a yummy signature cocktail, I’ve fallen in love with the Plume & Petal range of mid-proof premium infused vodkas (and am thrilled to be their newest brand ambassador!). Each of their lemon, peach and cucumber flavors is naturally infused and layered with essences like white tea and elderflower and just a hint of honey for sweetness, so the taste is sophisticated and bespoke.
The whole point of a beautiful evening together is to make sure you, the host, are relaxed and comfortable, because your guests will take their cue from you.
CL: What inspired your newest cookbook and what can we get excited about?
DO: In Eat Your Heart Out: All-Fun, No-Fuss Food To Celebrate Eating Clean I share the techniques I’ve used to get my mind, energy and body back on track after each pregnancy or anytime I’ve needed to reboot good habits—without ever losing the joy of cooking, the fun of mealtime and the stress-free pleasure of doing it intuitively.
Eat Your Heart Out is a collection of 150 recipes free from gluten and refined sugar that have consistently helped me lose weight without ever disappointing my demanding tastebuds—or making healthy eating feel like a job I don’t need or want.
CL: In addition to your cookbook, what are some house-warming or dinner host gift suggestions?
DO: I find a little gift basket of some of my favorite seasoning essentials goes a long way and feels personal and unique. I’ll add things like a favorite herbal tea like the Plain- Rooibos Passionfruit, some delicious Kosterina or Fancy Peasant olive oil, Westbourne Togarashi Crunch (such as an incredible salty-crispy pairing with buttery togarashi spiced chex cereal, toasty nuts, and a little bit of sweet to balance the spice! It’s the perfect bar snack FYI), Daphnis & Chloe herbs and spices (love their quality and pretty glass jars!), Gjelina Honey Trio, Maldon Flaky Smoked Sea Salt, Primo Botanica Tree Hugger Chaga Chocolate, Olive & Linen Turkish Hand Towels…the list goes on and on!
It’s so much fun to discover amazing small brands and share these yummy finds with friends. When it comes to housewarming, helping to outfit the bar is a safe bet. I love the swanky, retro feel of these Fizz Glasses. A gorgeous wood cutting board that is simple enough to go with any decor and as lovely to display as it is to use.