At the Table with Meghan Markle
A stunning actressis the norm in Hollywood. But Meghan Markle is so much more than that (though she rocks both tight dresses and office attire like no one’s business). She shines playing Rachel Zane on Suits, one of the most successful - and addictive - shows on television (they’re currently filming Season 4!). And her website The TIG - yet another addictive habit – is "a hub for the discerning palate" with sumptuous stories about fashion, travel and a lot of food.
Meghan Markle, it turns out, is the total package.
Suits films in Toronto, so Meghan has got to know our city well over the past while and has posted about loving a dish from Bar Buca and about using Ontario wild blueberries in a recipe (maybe you’ll see her at your farmer’s market!). Recently, she fell for red fife via the Blackbird Baking Co.
A discerning palate, indeed.
Miss Markle kindly took time out of her incredibly busy schedule - New York Fashion Week! Shooting Season Four! Traveling the globe! Walking her dog, Bogart! - to share her thoughts on everything from what she raids from the hotel’s mini fridge to her favourite Toronto restaurants.
If you thought you loved Rachel Zane, wait until you meet Meghan Markle. Swoon.
Occupation: Actress and Founder of The TIG (www.thetig.com)
Place of Residence: Toronto / LA
What is the last thing you ate: Charred octopus with garbanzo beans, a side of fries, roasted shishito peppers, and a glass of Sancerre.
If you were left to your own devices to make something at home, what would it likely be? I always make chopped salads at home, and maybe that's a testament to my LA upbringing. I dice romaine, cucumber, tomato, zucchini, broccoli and whatever other veggies I have in the fridge and top it with some protein and a simple lemon vinaigrette that I whisk together with flax seed oil and fresh lemon juice with a spoonful of dijon.
What will you ask your server to remove from your dish or make sure it doesn't have? Nothing, because I want to enjoy dish the way the chef intended it. If there's something I don't like on the dish I'll usually just order something else. I don't tell an artist to take the red out of their painting, so I wouldn't ask a chef to take a component off of their dish - everything has its place.
When staying at a hotel, what are you raiding in the mini fridge? Peanut M&Ms or pretzels. The crunch of both of those is all too tempting for me after midnight.
Guilty Pleasure: French fries, but I don't feel guilty about it... they're just so good.
Drink of Choice: A big, full, beautiful glass of red wine.
Favorite meal of the day and why? Dinner because I spend the day running around so sitting down for a nice meal at the end of the day feels like a moment of calm and a great way to treat myself to something delicious. Almost like a celebration of the day!
Favorite Cookbooks to use: My Father's Daughter by Gweynth Paltrow because the recipes are soul satisfying and Barefoot Contessa by Ina Garten because her recipes are such solid standbys. Her turkey lasagna is actually perfect.
Favorite cookbooks just to look at: Edible Selby is visually stunning and filled with inspiration and Volt by the Voltaggio Brothers is a beautiful book with fantastic recipes that seem to reinvent the wheel.
Three items always in your fridge: Kombucha, marinated chilli peppers, and Fuji Apples. If I have these three things I can always add something from the pantry and whip up a small meal to tide me over; Almond butter with the apples, the chillis tossed into pasta or over a bowl of tuna and fava beans, and kombucha for all those moments in between.
Top 3 Toronto Restaurants: The Harbord Room, Bar Isabel and Soho House.
Go-to dish to order at a restaurant: I always try the fish special because I love seafood, but I also love to see what a chef creates outside of their normal menu.
Would you rather: Farmers market, pub or food truck? Farmers market, always farmers market! I love supporting local artisans and you will always find me leaving with arms full of produce, cheeses and copious amounts of flowers. I'm a sucker for fresh cut flowers.
Describe your kitchen: Small... realllly small. But I've managed to make the space feel like me -- I replaced the countertop with a massive wooden chef's block. I have a pasta machine so I can hand crank fresh pasta for guests, and do all of my prep and dining at the same space. I also had these precious Lee Broom vintage decanter lights installed overhead, so between those, my bar stools and my chalkboard menu, it feels like my own little bistro.
Describe your cooking style: Playful! And this is why I'm a much better cook than baker. The precision and technicalities of baking don't appeal to me and I love the discovery that comes with playing around with recipes.
Ideal food day: I start my day with a Clean Cleanse Shake with blueberries, chia seeds, cinnamon and almond milk - because while a croissant sounds delicious I feel much better when I start my day healthy. I would have spaghetti al limone with a nice glass of wine for lunch, and then crisp rosemary roasted potatoes and cote de boeuf for dinner. I don't have a sweet tooth so I would save dessert and instead opt for a Negroni or a glass of Oban, neat.