Camilla Belle Hones Her Cooking Skills With One of L.A.’s Top Chefs
Actress Camilla Belle has a hidden talent: She’s a pro in the kitchen, like making gourmet sandwiches and fruit tarts on the regular kind of pro. “I can’t even remember a moment where I wasn’t helping out in the kitchen,” Belle told us. “I learned everything from my mom and her side of the family; all Brazilian women are fabulous cooks.” Knowing this, we had to see the actress—whose next film Amapola hits theaters December 5—in action. With the help of renowned chef and personal friend Jon Shook of LA hotspot Son of a Gun, Belle whipped up one of her favorite dishes: the restaurant's famous lobster roll.
How did you two meet?
Camilla Belle: We met at a fashion event held at a residence and he was in the kitchen conducting a pancake extravaganza. I had been a fan of his for a long time and was quite excited to not only meet him, but also to hang out in the kitchen with friends, try all the savory and sweet pancakes, and chat about food, restaurants, and Los Angeles living.
Jon Shook: That was the first time we cooked together. Camilla has talked a lot of trash about being a good cook! [My wife] Shiri and I are still waiting for our invite over for dinner.
Why did you choose to make the lobster roll?
CB: It is such a staple at Son of a Gun, and is a dish that I always order but never make, so why not learn from the best?
Did anything surprise you about the process?
CB: Two things actually surprised me. The recipe for making the rolls is quite simple and easier than I thought it would be. I was also surprised by how the lobsters are prepared.
JS: The secret is making sure that the lobster is super dry before putting in the aioli mixture. Don’t be cheap on the lobster either—buy nice lobsters!
What was your favorite part of making the dish?
CB: Being able to cook inside the kitchen at one of my favorite restaurants was incredibly exciting to me. I was surrounded by the chefs that make the delicious food I return to eat on a regular basis, plus being able to learn from Jon was just a lot of fun.
What do you love most about dining at Son of a Gun?
CB: The food, the vibe, the size, and the staff. It can very easily feel like your favorite neighborhood jaunt.
What’s your favorite fall dish to make?
CB: It’s hard to pick just one favorite fall dish, but I always get inspiration from my weekly farmers market visits. Apples and various forms of pumpkins and squash are divine in the fall, so I'll make apple tarts and crumbles, and as side dishes incorporate spaghetti squash, or roasted butternut squash with mushrooms and green beans.
JS: I love oysters in the fall. It’s always good to remember to eat oysters during the months that end with ‘r’. Another thing I love about fall is squash, especially spaghetti squash. I like to make it with a basic tomato sauce or butter at my house. Whenever I’m cooking at home, it’s all about making food that doesn’t require a lot of dishes and is delicious!