Stanley Tucci reveals the culinary origins of Big Night and his desert-island food
Stanley Tucci's culinary-centric memoir Taste: My Life Through Food hits shelves Tuesday, offering a mouthwatering and highly entertaining account of the actor's life, from his childhood days as an Italian American kid with an enviable lunchbox to his current status as an internationally acclaimed performer sampling the finest local delicacies while shooting movies around the globe.
If that taste of Taste whets your appetite for more, listen to an audio excerpt from Tucci's memoir above, as the actor details the origins of his classic restaurant movie Big Night, and find out what type of cheese the beloved gourmand identifies as below.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: If you could have dinner with any three real people, dead or alive, who would they be?
STANLEY TUCCI: Groucho Marx, Meryl Streep — she's really smart and funny — and Cicero. I would make a really simple pasta dish, or a risotto and a baked fish.
What is your favorite food scene from pop culture?
I really do love Babette's Feast, when she makes that incredible meal and you see them completely transformed.
Your favorite music to cook to…
I listen to a lot of jazz — often Diana Krall Radio on Spotify.
What is your favorite food scene from one of your films?
It's in Julie & Julia, when Meryl and I are eating oysters and talking about what she wants to do with her life. She wants to make hats, but what she really loves to do is eat. I say, "Yeah, and you're good at it."
What is the best meal you've ever had while filming?
It was a stew we ate in Iceland [while filming Fortitude]. It's called kjötsúpa and is made of lamb or mutton and vegetables. We ate it up on a glacier, and it's the best meal I've ever had from a caterer.
What is your desert-island food?
Oh, pasta. You had a feeling I'd say that.
Taste/binge/trash: Julie & Julia's boeuf bourguignon, Big Night's timpano, The Hunger Games' burnt nut-raisin bread…
We can throw Peeta's bread away. I have actually binged on timpano when I was younger. And I love boeuf bourguignon, so I'd taste it.
If you had to identify as a type of cheese, which would it be?
I suppose it might be Parmigiano — well-aged and a little sharp.
If you had to identify as a type of cocktail, which would it be?
A martini because they're great. They're elegant.
Name a condiment you couldn't live without?
Is olive oil a condiment? If so, extra virgin olive oil.
Who's your favorite chef?
That's very hard to say. I have so many favorite chefs, from Heston Blumenthal — and I'm very lucky to have gotten to know these people too — Francesco Marseille, who did our wedding, to Pino Posteraro. Oh God, there are too many to name.
Audio excerpt courtesy of Simon & Schuster Audio from TASTE by Stanley Tucci, read by the author. Copyright © 2021 by Stanley Tucci. Used with permission of Simon & Schuster, Inc.