Shannen Doherty on Food Fights, Dream Dinner Party Guests and Bacon

By Gourmet Live guest columnist Paula Froelich

Shannen Doherty, 39, has been labeled many things: A wild child, a crazy lady, a talented actress. (Who could forget her turn in Heathers or 90210?) But one of the labels she most cherishes is chef. Doherty has packed more living into her 39 years than most do in a lifetime. She's been married twice, arrested once, acted in over three dozen movies, and posed nude for Playboy, but the Memphis born belle insists that she's really just a down-home girl at heart. Gourmet Live caught up with the actress as she was on her way to New Jersey to promote her new book, Badass: A Hard Earned Guide to Living Life With Style and (The Right) Attitude.

Gourmet Live: Do you cook?

Shannen Doherty: I do. I cook a lot of things. I'm quite a chef. My boyfriend cooks too, so we pretend we're on a TV show and in the grocery store we'll call a friend and tell them to give us three ingredients to use that night. We get those ingredients and go home and have to cook with them and make whole meals with them.

Gourmet Live: What are the strangest ingredients someone has given you?

Shannen Doherty: God, I can't remember. Probably for me, beets - because I don't like beets. I'm not a fan of beets!

Gourmet Live: How did you get interested in cooking?

Shannen Doherty:
My dad was a really, really good cook and when I was a kid he would turn on Pavarotti and make cooking this fun thing to do. I kind of grew up in the kitchen with my dad.

Gourmet Live: What's your favorite thing to cook?

Shannen Doherty:
Anything I make, to be honest. I love to experiment and not follow recipes. I make potatoes that are out of this world. I take yellow Yukon potatoes, boil them a little, quarter them - you want the potatoes to be small pieces - and then put them in a cast iron skillet. I heat the skillet up lightly then add a little bit of bacon, put some olive oil in as well as rosemary and a whole garlic clove and then put the skillet in the oven at 400 degrees. So basically the potatoes are cooking in bacon fat, which we all know is the best. They're delicious. I also make a pretty mean filet mignon roast with a red wine sauce as well as a delicious filet mignon sliced with a bacon onion marmalade that's out if this world.

Gourmet Live: It's all about the bacon…

Shannen Doherty:
Oh yeah.

Gourmet Live: What's your favorite restaurant?

Shannen Doherty: In New York, Les Halles is one of my favorites. It makes a great steak, it has a great atmosphere and is just one of the best. Also, surprisingly, I find the STK chain to be really, really good. Their steaks are delicious and they have a great wine list. When I'm in LA, my favorite restaurant is Capo, in Santa Monica.

Gourmet Live:
Have you ever gotten into a food fight? [We had to ask.]

Shannen Doherty: Yes, I sure have.

Gourmet Live:
What's the best food for a food fight?

Shannen Doherty:
One particular night [with a group of friends], I made this other potato dish I make with créme fraiche, so the potatoes were a little soggy. It was great because whatever lands on you will probably land on your face and you'll have to lick it off - so you want it to taste yummy. The food (being thrown) has to have enough weight to fly through the air but not enough weight to injure. Therefore, use cooked potatoes (while food fighting), not raw.

Gourmet Live:
If you knew you were going to die tomorrow, what would you eat and where?

Shannen Doherty:
My last supper would be at my mom's house with my mom and dad and it would be my mother's country fried steak.

Gourmet Live: Who would be on your perfect dinner party's guest list--living or dead?

Shannen Doherty: My mom and dad -- always. Bono, for sure. And...Sorry. Whenever I'm on the spot I freak out like you wouldn't believe... Who else? Ronald Reagan. The dinner party would be for fifteen. That's a good number.

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Photo Credit: WWD

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