Q & A with Daphne Oz
We are so excited to share an exclusive Q & A with Daphne Oz on her career and life in the health and wellness world as well as her cooking tips! Daphne is an Emmy Award-winning television host, New York Times-bestselling author, chef, and entrepreneur focused on innovation in food and beverage, beauty, wellness, fashion and media. She was previously cohost of ABC’s The Chew and is now one of the cohosts of The Dish on Oz. She also cohosts a successful podcast, Mom Brain, where she gives advice on being a parent. Keep reading to learn more!
Q: How did you get started cooking? Can you please describe how food and cooking became your career?
A: I grew up in a huge, food-loving family (with Turkish and Italian roots, both major food cultures from which I continue to draw inspiration) where the dinner table was the place to meet and discuss the day. I remember spending most afternoons coming home from school and then grocery shopping with my mom to make the evening’s meal together. Creating, sharing, and trying delicious foods have always been some of my favorite ways to adventure and soak up life, so I leapt at the opportunity to join the cast of ABC’s The Chew at 24 which I co-hosted for 6 years, eating a million tasty things and talking with my mouthful along the way! I received my culinary degree at the Natural Gourmet Institute because I wanted to be able to put an elevated spin on healthier foods – making simple, smart, and equally delicious swaps to keep nourishing food feeling indulgent and celebratory is my passion, and this piece of my education was critical to helping me master a variety of useful techniques. But my absolute favorite research is wandering farmers markets and local’s favorite holes in the wall anywhere I go. So much inspiration can be found in the simplest, family-friendly recipes, and those are the bites I crave and cook day after day.
Q: What is your favorite meal to cook for your family?
A: A gorgeous roast chicken (spatchcock to halve the cooking time and to maximize crispy skin and juicier meat!). A fresh salad – usually peppery arugula and parmesan or tender greens with a tangy vinaigrette of shallots, citrus, chives and a little squeeze of honey. Some kind of pasta dish – we all love a perfectly balanced red sauce or creamier alla vodka, or sometimes I’ll do a cacio e pepe. I’ve started using the alternative flour pastas quite a bit, just amazed at how satisfying a bowl of chickpea pasta can be! And we eat lots and lots of fish. Usually whole roasted branzino or crispy skinned salmon filets. I recently started making the salmon in my air fryer with a sweet chile soy glaze my whole family is obsessed with! We live in Florida, so I love to finish the meal simply with popsicles or frozen fruit dipped in salted dark chocolate to cool off with a little something sweet.
Q: Has motherhood changed your diet and the foods you feel comfortable feeding to your kids?
A: I’ve always been health conscious, but being pregnant and then having kids to feed has heightened my awareness of all the ways we literally become what we eat. It’s so important for me to avoid toxins for our family wherever I can and to choose the cleanest, most nourishing ingredients to create our meals. As a chef, taste is paramount to me too, and I often find myself sourcing top quality ingredients because it makes it easier for me to put together very simple meals that taste incredible because each ingredient is bringing so much to the party!
Q: What are your favorite spices & ingredients to cook with? Any current obsessions?
A: Oh, this is a fun game!! My spice cabinet always has: oregano, garlic salt, cumin, coriander seed, cinnamon and cardamom. These are my absolute musts. If we’re broadening out to fridge and pantry, I would say I always have eggs, butter and yogurt, avocado, plenty of hot sauce and other quality condiments, beans and dry rice, lentils and pasta. I shop regularly for fresh produce, particularly herbs and meat or fish which I want to have as fresh as possible. Getting it delivered from trusted sources makes that part of my job even easier!
Q: What flavors/ingredients did you include in this recipe?
A: This fresh salmon fish cake recipe was so fun for me to put together. It draws inspiration from the delicious fish cakes I enjoyed as a favorite comforting meal with friends while living in London. But I took tons of liberties and blended in the spice and flare of a remoulade with capers, sauteed peppers and onions, a little bite from the mustard, and a nice handful of fresh herbs (which seems to be my signature move to keep bite after bite exciting)! It makes for such a deliciously flavorful and filling protein over any salad or roasted or steamed veg, or use it like you would a burger. I shared how to pan fry for a slightly crispier, more indulgent bite, and also how to bake in the oven for a tender, lighter way to feed a crowd.
Q: When choosing and cooking salmon, do you have a go-to brand that you would recommend?
A: I was so happy to be introduced to Bluehouse! Nothing is more frustrating than spending a bunch of money to buy fish at a supermarket and bringing it home only to find it doesn’t smell or taste as you expected, and it’s near impossible to know exactly when those fish were caught. I opened my Bluehouse package and the filet was gorgeous, fresh, and ready for me to cook any way I liked! I got a huge side and ended up cutting some into filets to whip up in my air fryer (you could also freeze them to save for later) and then removed the skin and finely chopped the second half to create delicious fresh salmon burgers. Both tasted incredible!
Q: Do you think it is important to know where your fish comes from?
A: I like to know everything I can about where my ingredients come from, how they are sourced, and what sets them apart. I’m especially grateful when I can find quality, reliable brands that make it easy to source the best. And since not all fish is created equal in terms of what it is fed and how fresh it is when we actually put it on our plates to enjoy, selecting incredible product like sustainably raised Bluehouse Salmon means one less thing to worry about!
Thank you, Daphne Oz for the opportunity to learn more about you! We hope that you all enjoyed learning her story and use her tips and tricks in your own life.