Lance Bass is taking the food world by storm. First, he competed with his mom (cue the "awwws") on the reality cooking show My Kitchen Rules. (The pair finished in second place!) He just partnered with meal kit service Chef'd to offer Southern-style recipes inspired by the family dishes he grew up eating. And he recently hung out with celeb chef Graham Elliot, hunting down some of the best underground food spots in Los Angeles in Going Off the Menu.
While Lance always had an interest in cooking—and learned plenty of skills from his mom—he credits his "ultimate" favorite chef, Gordon Ramsay, with getting him into the kitchen on a regular basis. "Once I started watching his shows, I just really got into cooking. And it just became way more enjoyable to me because I would make my husband be the sous chef and we would pretend we were on Hell's Kitchen and I'd get to yell at him. It's a good date night," Bass recently told The Feast, laughing. "So Chef Ramsay definitely helped me bond with my husband."
While Bass hasn't met Ramsay in person yet, he spent a lot of quality time with My Kitchen Rules judges Curtis Stone and Cat Cora while filming. Bass, who has eaten at Curtis' restaurants in L.A., calls them "incredible," with lots of "unique dishes."
And Cat Cora holds a special place in Bass' heart. "Of course I love Cat because she's from my home state of Mississippi, so she knows how to put a punch of flavor into everything she does," he raved. "She has this Mediterranean background, so you know, Mediterranean, which [is] one of my favorite cuisines, mixed with those Southern taste buds is the perfect combination."
Hanging out with Graham Elliot during Going Off the Menu was a blast, too. "That was the first time I met him, and of course I watch Master Chef, so I really got to know him on that show and he just seemed like such a great guy. And he is. He's just a sweetheart," Bass gushed. The two went on a crazy ride exploring L.A's underground dining scene, from tasting a secret off-the-menu ghost pepper salsa to hunting down spicy crabs served in a car wash parking lot to sampling a roving chicken-and-waffles catering biz that's a favorite of Snoop Dogg's.
His favorite experience was with Starry Kitchen, a stealth business that leads hungry fans to sketchy places—like a car wash parking lot in the middle of the night—in order to get their reward of spicy, saucy, Singapore-style crabs. "I really enjoyed the mystery of finding those crabs," Bass revealed. "It was just so cool to go on this adventure, and get scared s***less by the way, because they're banging on the windows, but I think that was definitely the most memorable for me."
"You know, I had no idea there were all these underground things happening around the city, so it was just so much fun going around and trying all these different foods," Bass added. "I loved every minute of it."
In fact, Bass is planning to open his own restaurant in L.A. by the end of the year, and he's hoping to capture a little bit of that "speakeasy feel" that he experienced on the show. "We've teamed up with an incredible chef who's won tons of awards and it's gonna have a Mediterranean flair to it, of course, I have to mix in a few of my Mississippi recipes with it," he explained. "I'm excited. It's something I've always wanted to do, and this is just the perfect year to finally make my dreams come true."
Bravotv.com’s digital series Going Off the Menu takes viewers on an exclusive culinary adventure as host Graham Elliot uncovers the most delicious offerings within Los Angeles’ underground food scene. From a secret supper club serving smuggled cheeses to an eight-course liquid dinner, join Lance Bass, Cheryl Burke, Reza Farahan, and more as they give fans the secrets to unlock these extraordinary food experiences.
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