If any characters on TV should be stress-eating, it’s the cast of Younger. For six seasons, the whole series has been built on one lie: Liza (Sutton Foster) is secretly in her 40s but pretending to be a millennial editor at a book publisher, falling in love with her then-boss Charles (Peter Hermann), and having to spill the beans to her best friend and work wife Kelsey (Hilary Duff). Phew, that’s a lot to handle. So when we sat down with the cast of the hit TV show, we decided to find out what foods they use to deal with stressful days, like those guilty pleasure, late-night snacks, and the nostalgic foods they crave from their younger days.
Read on to see which members of the cast—Hilary Duff, Sutton Foster, Peter Hermann, Nico Tortorella, Miriam Shor, Molly Bernard, and Charles Michael Davis—cook with their kids, the millennial trends they’re so over, and who is really into gold flakes on her sushi. And catch the new season of Younger when it premieres June 12 on TV Land.
Rachael Ray Every Day: On Younger, Millennial is the imprint of the book publishing company. What is your favorite millennial food trend, and which one are you just so sick of?
Miriam Shor (Diana): My favorite millennial food trend is the food trend. Before, food was for just food, for eating. Now, it's for trending. And lining up! In the olden days, when you lined up for food, it's because there was a famine. Now millennials will line up for anything.
Peter Hermann (Charles): I feel like I live under a rock, but I don’t know any of the food trends. Avocado? I didn’t know that was a trend. I just think it's good! TheTimes just did the story on the tower of pancakes that everyone's lining up for now.
Charles Michael Davis (Zane): Food is how millennials fit in. I actually own a restaurant in Atlanta, a franchise called Kale Me Crazy. It’s really trendy, we have them all on the menu like acai bowls, avocado toast, almond butter, and poke bowls. So I really want to know what the next trend is.
Sutton Foster (Liza): I like farm-to-table, if that’s a trend, but I don’t like the communal table... because I don't really like people. I mean I like people, but I don't really like to dine next to strangers.
Hilary Duff (Kelsey): Shuko is like my favorite restaurant here, and they put gold flakes on top of toro sushi, and then they torch it. It's just insane and I love it— a little extra sparkle. Gold flakes are safe to ingest. And who doesn't want a sparkly poop? That would be way more exciting than regular! [Laughs]
Nico Tororella (Josh): I love a food truck. And kombucha.
Molly Bernard (Lauren): I love avocado toast, but I hate that it costs $20 when I can make it for 75 cents at home.
Debi Mazar (Maggie): I hate avocado toast. I mean, I love it, but why does everything have to be on top of it? There’s too much going on.
What was your favorite food growing up that makes you feel nostalgic now?
Sutton: The little powdered white doughnuts, we had them in the house all the time. And/or a classic Pop Tart, strawberry with icing and sprinkles. I would have one every day in the car on the way to school.
Peter: My favorite childhood snack was Entenmann’s doughnuts. That is the standard after school snack: go home, eat a box of Entenmann’s doughnuts, and go on with your day.
Hilary: Ants on a log! A piece of celery with creamy peanut butter inside the boat with raisins sprinkled on top. Or Dunkaroos, those cookies that you dip in white frosting that’s cake batter flavored.
Miriam: This is weird, because it’s always sweets for me all the time, but I liked those Snack Pack puddings. Butterscotch flavored. But I wouldn’t turn away chocolate, ever.
Charles: Pizza rolls. They’d come out of the oven and be so hot that when you’d bite into them, they’d scorch your mouth.
Nico: Ooh, Lunchables! Pizza ones. Pepperoni pizza Lunchables!
Molly: Hershey’s Kisses and Hugs, the white and milk chocolate swirled together.
Debi: I have to say Violet candies, the mints, and I loved drinking Yoo-hoo.
When you are on set late at night, what is the weirdest thing you’ve cobbled together for a meal?
Peter: I just graze Crafty [craft services] regularly. It’s funny, because I arrive at the craft service table in the morning every day with the best of intentions, and by the end of it, I’m like having sex with the Reese's peanut butter cups. And the next day, the cycle continues, and you just go down from there.
Sutton: I’m obsessed with peanut butter pretzels. That’s my go-to snack. But I love breakfast most. I'll get a big breakfast burrito eat half of it at breakfast, and then the second half at lunch. I hoard food—cheeses, little meats, veggies. It’s ridiculous. I'm still a starving actor in my head, so I’m constantly stowing food away. I have a bag full of snacks that I've hoarded because I'm afraid I'm never going to eat again. And black cherry seltzer. And little clementines. I probably eat three of those a day!
Hilary: I've been bringing hard-boiled eggs to work and I rough chop them, drizzle them with really good olive oil, Maldon sea salt, cracked black pepper, and add a big scoop of capers. I put that all in a plastic baggie and shake it up, like a deviled egg on the go.
Miriam: Here's what I do often, and did yesterday evening. I grabbed a fresh mozzarella ball, and I ate it like an apple. I’m not even kidding. The whole damn thing. Good god, I love cheese. A world without cheese would be like a world without sunshine. Dark and you couldn't live. I like the Babybel cheeses too. I will bring my own portable cheese to set. I find that all cheese can be portable. I'll make Brie portable! I don't care, I'll work it out. Just carry a blob of it around.
Molly: The weirdest thing I've ever cobbled together was actually pretty great. I’m gluten-free and also vegetarian, so I took hummus off of a wrap and went through all the meat sandwich options and took off things I could possibly eat, and then I had chips. I’m also obsessed with Hu chocolate bars and often just have that for dinner.
Debi: I love eating barbecue potato chips, so that’s my crazy go-to thing on the set. I know it’s fattening and not healthy but I've always loved me a good barbecue potato chip. And when we film, actually, I can’t drink grape juice because once when I was seven, I went to Coney Island and ate a hot dog and grape juice at the same time and vomited. So whenever Maggie is drinking wine on the show, which is a lot, it’s either real white wine or a pomegranate spritzer.
Charles: I've just left set and went to go find bagels. That’s it. And I went to Trader Joe's recently, and you know when you stand in line and they have all those sweets? I reached over and grabbed the dark chocolate-covered almonds. And I ate them all in line.
Nico: I do a lot of turkey lettuce wraps. Get some turkey, roll them up, you know. Boom, you’re done.
Do you have a late-night guilty pleasure food, and do you think your character's would be the same?
Hilary: We freeze bananas and drizzle crunchy almond butter on top of it. It's a new thing in our house and we're obsessed with it. The perfect frozen banana is three hours—we’ve tested it, and overnight is too long. I think Kelsey just drinks bourbon on the rocks and eats French fries. I do that too sometimes—the fries.
Sutton: My late-night guilty snack is always either a bowl of cereal or frozen pizza, which I'm obsessed with. And I think Liza’s would be the same; we’re pretty similar.
Debi: I crave alcohol, unfortunately, and Maggie is definitely a functioning alcoholic. She eats everything, though. She’s always cooking! She eats salad though, and a healthy Mediterranean diet. And Parmesan cheese. The crew is always asking me if they got the right cheese.
Molly: Macaroni and cheese. And I think Lauren eats filthy too.
Nico: Josh is definitely eating a ton of junk food.
For those of you who have kids, what do you like to cook with them at home?
Miriam: First I want to say that I live in New York City, and in the course of 40 minutes I can get the best food in the world delivered to my door. And I want my children to be eating the best food! [Laughs] So mostly I order and eat with them, but I do cook for them in the morning because I want them to eat a good breakfast, and I improvise pesto eggs. Apparently, they made an impact, because my daughter wrote a how-to book on how to make pesto eggs the other day. We can also make a good pasta. I lived in Italy half my life, so it's not hard to make good pasta.
Peter: I actually find it more challenging to navigate Seamless—order in the shopping cart and checkout, and put the things on there, like would you want extra pickles?—than to cook dinner. I'm like, "It's f—king called Seamless!" Not seamless for me.
Sutton: I don't have time to cook during the week, but I have a place outside the city with a very big kitchen. Up at the lake, my daughter Emily—who’s two—and I do a lot of cookie baking. Every time we go up there, I bake cookies with her and then I freeze the dough. So I have dough ready to go. We usually have sugar cookies and butterscotch cookies up there, and chocolate chip cookies in New York. I also have a husband who loves cookies so he says, "Uh, are you going make some cookies?" And we do, of course.
Hilary: I love to cook, and I cook a lot in L.A., dinner almost every night I cook. But Luca [my 7-year-old son] could care less about food and how it got onto his plate and what he's even eating, so I'm hoping that Banks [my 7-month old daughter] is going to be the one who helps. She’s already obsessed with food. She yells at me if I don’t get food in her mouth fast enough, but honestly, that’s kind of what I do too.