Noughties nostalgia has taken over social media feeds just in time for early aughts reality TV darling Paris Hilton to return to screens with her new Netflix show Cooking With Paris.
Hilton, 40, admits she lacks culinary prowess, but the idea for the new series came to fruition after executive producer Aaron Saidman saw her viral YouTube video of the same name, in which she attempted a lasagne. The video currently has over 5 million views.
Saidman had previously worked with Hilton on her documentary This Is Paris, and told The New York Times: “We thought it’d be fun to delve into her cooking skills, or lack thereof.”
Unlike a traditional cooking show, heavily reliant on specialist expertise, Cooking With Paris spends much more time delving into the joy of cooking as a beginner as she fabulously fumbles through recipes with her celebrity friends including Kim Kardashian and Demi Lovato.
For reality TV devotees, the show is packed full of trademark Paris-isms, including a literal trademark application for the term “Sliving”—a portmanteau of “slaying” and “living your best life”. True fans of the genre will recall her trademarking “That’s Hot,” her catchphrase on The Simple Life—even successfully suing Hallmark for its unauthorized usage.
Of course, no show featuring Hilton would be complete without some wildly out of place but equally fabulous fashion choices, and it’s these that inject so much fun into the series.
Don’t Take Fashion so Seriously
During trips to the grocery store, sashaying down the cheese aisle in a ballgown, she’s not afraid to make fun of herself, asking one retail worker “Excuse me, sir, what do chives look like?” in much the same way that she pondered whether Walmart sold “wall stuff” during her original reality TV run in The Simple Life.
Rebecca Stratton, styling manager at Nasty Gal, is a fan of the over the top dressing and told Newsweek: “We’ve been locked down for the best part of a year, if there was ever a time to wear something daring, different and yes, sometimes a little over the top it’s now.
“Each outfit exuded opulence and offered us a real escapism after almost a year of loungewear. They were exactly the kind of outfits you’d fantasize about wearing if you suddenly became a multi-million dollar heiress.”
Personal stylist Lindsay Barry agreed: “If something makes you feel incredible, don’t save it for best. Find what styles suit you and your lifestyle and feel empowered to wear it and own it.”
Paola Maggiuli, Italian food expert, chef and founder of The Tiny Italian, hopes Hilton’s enthusiasm for food may be infectious.
“Some other people in my field who think that cooking should be taken seriously may disagree with me but I think the food world needs more cooking shows where a lighter fun approach is taken to reach new audiences,” she said.
“We live in a world where eating takeout is becoming a norm rather than cooking. Paris is obviously a beginner and may not always share the correct techniques but she shares enthusiasm which for some may be the inspiration needed to get them cooking.”
For many, Hilton’s status as someone who is not known for their domesticity is the show’s main appeal. Her larger-than-life persona is what they watch for.
“I think it says: ‘Look at me, I’m still Paris. I can do a cooking show and won’t compromise on my style for the sake of tasty tacos.'” Barry said.
The series is packed full of moments that encapsulate this, like comedian Nikki Glaser telling Hilton of her shoe choice: “That looks like hell to me.” Hilton simply replied: “Beauty is pain.”
Of course, it’s unlikely many of us will be replicating her wardrobe as well as her recipes.
“They are totally impractical for cooking—I mean, who would want to risk spilling food on their expensive designer outfits, or getting feathers in their meal?” Barry asked.
So, what are the practical applications of some of her more outlandish styling decisions?
Why Does Paris Hilton Wear Gloves?
Hilton, it seems, has an enviable fingerless glove collection and wears them in almost every episode.
While they’re a great accessory to an outfit, they’re not hygienic when it comes to food preparation and so she’s often seen pulling surgical gloves over the top.
For the typical home cook, this is not essential.
Maggiuli explained: “The important thing is to make sure you wash your hands regularly and wash or change chopping boards especially when switching between veggies, meat and fish.
“However, if you are cooking for someone who may have any allergy then wearing gloves may help when having to handle certain ingredients.”
Can Sunglasses Prevent Crying While Chopping Onions?
While preparing a family meal with mother Kathy and sister Nicky Hilton Rothschild, the trio don a pair of sunglasses each to avoid crying while chopping onions.
Though nothing quite points out celebrity status like wearing sunglasses indoors, but it may not be the most practical option as Rothschild pointed out that she was struggling to see.
Maggiuli shared her tips: “Wearing goggles can help those with high sensitivity as it stops eyes getting stung by the unleashed gasses. Placing an onion in the freezer or refrigerator for at least 10 minutes can slow down the gasses from filtering the air.
“I find that breathing through your mouth rather than your nose also helps.”
Should I Tie My Hair Back When Cooking?
It’s not just outlandish outfits on display, Hilton’s hair is always perfectly coiffed, but she may want to consider tying it into a ponytail.
“Finding hair in your food is such a big no no,” Maggiuli said.
“No matter how good your dish tastes, if you find unwanted hair it can ruin your whole eating experience.”
Should I Wear an Apron When Cooking?
After getting her fringed sleeves caught in the mix for a Bundt cake and feathers dropping from another jacket as she cooked, Hilton admitted in her signature breathy tone: “It’s not the most practical cooking outfit but I like to cook in style.”
Cute though the looks may be, they could prove dangerous as Maggiuli explained: “I love the drama and the fun environment she is creating in the kitchen, but the truth of the matter is, you couldn’t wear something like that in a general kitchen.
“It’s not practical or comfortable and it could easily go up in flames.
“All you need is a splash of oil and splatter of flames and that dress wouldn’t stand a chance.”
To protect yourself and your clothes, Maggiuli recommended avoiding wearing flammable fabrics and an apron to prevent stains.
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