Selena Gomez talks about her quarantine cooking show, mental health amid COVID
Gomez, who rarely appears in unscripted programming, thought ‘Selena + Chef’ could bring some lightness and levity to the world amid the coronavirus pandemic.
In the coronavirus pandemic, even celebrities have to cook at home.
Because dining out is limited by state regulations aimed at limitingthe spread of COVID-19,cooking and baking areon the rise for many people, andSelena Gomezcounts herself among them.Although she’s a successful professional singer and actress, Gomez is definitely not a professional chef. But she’s trying.
In the newHBO Max series “Selena + Chef”(streaming Aug. 13), Gomez, 28,tries to learn how to be a better cook from professional chefs, includingAntonia Lofaso, Ludo Lefebvre andNancy Silverton. They walk her through dishes like a classic French omelette or matcha chocolate chip cookies and she tries to re-create the restaurant-quality dish. The only catch? It’s all happening remotely in quarantine, so the chefs can offer Gomez only their best advice over video chat.
“It was so strange, because there was no one in my house but there were cameras everywhere,” she said at a virtual Television Critics Association panel.”It comes out so well, (and looks)like a normal cooking show. And that was really really, cool, but also really odd because (the crew) was outside.”
Gomez, who rarely appears in unscripted programming, thought the series could bring some lightness and levity to the world amid the pandemic.
“It was fun and something people should enjoy and be lighthearted and take an escape,” she said. “I was getting definitely down. Of coursethere are more important things going on,(but)I hope you laugh because I look like a fool.”
The singer has beenvocal about her struggles with mental health, and she noted it has been difficult formany to cope with the changes and isolation brought on by the pandemic.
“It’s not easy for anyone to be walking through what we’re walking through,” she said. “It’s affecting people, especially their mental health. ...Itis hard, but I try to find what I need to get me through (quarantine). I have great friends and I see a therapist and I just try to keep my mind positive. ... I’ve learned more about my country than I ever have from school. ...A lot has changed.”
Doing the series also meant opening her home and personal life to TV cameras in her own kitchen.
“I had a very difficult time” with that, she said. “Because as much as I enjoy my position, I do try to keep a private life.”
Overall, she felt comfortable with the show, and she’s used to a certain amount of scrutiny from her fans.
“I could post a picture of the ground and my fans would try to dissect what it meant. So that’s going to happen, no matter what.”
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