Just in time for the Modern Family season eight premiere tonight, we caught up with Ferguson to chat about the show, the highlight of performing Fully Committed, his love affair with food, and more.
If we could be best friends with any celebrity, it most definitely would be Jesse Tyler Ferguson. Never mind that he’s super hilarious as Mitchell Pritchett in Modern Family or that he slayed on Broadway over the summer with his one-man show Fully Committed, the guy knows how to whip up a feast (check out his Instagram for proof) and he knows all the best spots to eat in LA. Here, we chat with the star about the new season of his hit show and all things food.
You had a really big summer performing Fully Committed on Broadway. What was the highlight for you? JESSE TYLER FERGUSON: The whole experience was surreal. If you had told me 10 years ago that I would be starring in a one man play on Broadway with my name above the title and my face on the marquee and Bernadette Peters at my opening night I would have said, ‘liar!’ But all that happened. It was a huge challenge. I think Patti LuPone bursting into my dressing room to congratulate me after a performance ranks pretty high on the highlight list.
The new season of Modern Family is about to kick off. What can we expect this season? JTF: A few of the kids on the show are all at that age where they are starting to think about college so we are dealing with a lot of changes and growth in that area. We have Shelley Long returning as my mother, Dede. She is always a lot of fun to have on set. I am such a fan of hers. Martin Short also did a scene for us. I can’t wait to see that!
What’s your favorite thing about playing Mitchell? JTF: I like that Mitchell is a shade of who I already am. He is funny and smart. I love his dry sense of humor. I adore playing his relationship with Claire, partly because Julie Bowen is such a pleasure to work with!
Anyone that follows you on Instagram knows you’re a big foodie. Where does your love for food come from? JTF: I’ve always been fascinated with the culinary world. I think if I had a second shot at another career, I would have put myself through culinary school. I get very excited when I meet chefs. They are rock stars to me. I find cooking relaxes me and challenges me creatively. I also am a natural provider. Nothing makes me happier than to cook for my husband, my family, and my friends. It brings me immense joy—when the dishes turn out right.
What are your favorite things to cook at home? JTF: I try and cook clean and healthy with big flavor when I am at home. I am a big collector of cookbooks and cooking magazines. I love cracking a book open and finding a recipe to use as inspiration. I try and use it as a jumping off place for creating my own dishes. I love high quality protein. Sometimes I’ll just go to the local butcher and see what looks good. I do a mean skirt steak marinade. I also love Gwyneth Paltrow’s Sriracha and lime salmon recipe.
What are some of your favorite LA restaurants? JTF: I love Bestia, Night + Market, and any Mexican food. LA has great Mexican restaurants, and spicy chilies are my weakness. I also love the food at Terrine, a French brasserie I opened with Kris Morningstar. Their French onion soup is one of my all-time favorite. It’s creamy, with just the right amount of spice, and really delicious. The LA food scene is ever-changing, and as a self-proclaimed foodie I want to try everything the city has to offer. This is why I partnered with PEPCID®—the brand is celebrating local eats and enabling food enthusiasts like myself to pursue great tastes without heartburn getting in the way.
Tell us more about Terrine. How did that come about? JTF: Justin and I love eating out and some of our favorite restaurants happen to be owned by (our now partner) Stephane Bombet. We are a fan of his taste and aesthetic. We just kept on him and constantly nagged him to allow us to be a part of one of his projects. Being pushy has its perks!