Actor Nico Tortorella gets a lesson in beef chili and gluten-free chocolate-chip pumpkin loaf
If anyone is playing to win in the exhibitionist game that is Instagram, it is the 27-year-old Brooklyn-based actor Nico Tortorella.
On the TV Land sitcom Younger, which begins its second season on Wednesday, Mr. Tortorella stars as Josh, a Brooklyn-based tattoo artist. He also happens to be the very good looking and much younger love interest of Sutton Fosters Liza, a working mom who, to get back into the publishing world, tells everyone shes 26 even though shes actually 40.
On the even smaller screeni.e. your iPhoneMr. Tortorella has milked his eye-candy status to his 101,000 followers with lots of over-the-top Instagram posts, including purposely confusing videos, coy fashion images and just-got-out-of-bed shirtless shots.
Instagram has given a ton of people the opportunity to be super vain and show pictures of themselves in promiscuous situations, said Mr. Tortorella, who grew up a fat kid to a large Italian family in Chicago.
Im ridiculous, he explained, with admirable self-awareness. I dont try to censor myself and I dont take myself too seriously.
The other day, Mr. Tortorella had come to Natural Gourmet Institute in the Flatiron area for a cooking class. You dont get a body like his by eating junk food, although since he has cut out alcohol, Mr. Tortorella has grown especially fond of sugar.
On Younger, Were in minimal clothing, thats the M.O. Mr. Tortorella explained. I could actually live off nutritional yeast, coconut oil and Nama Shoyu soy sauce.
As he put on an apron, Mr. Totorella explained that he has tried many diets. He was vegan, for instance, in fifth grade. He ate a raw diet for three years, although to eat non-vegan and rawincluding steak tartare and raw fishwas his favorite. Still, it was really hard to do all the time, he said.
He tends toward a Paleo diet these days. I just feel better when Im doing it, he said. Hence, on this particular evening, he would be making grass-fed beef Paleo chili and a gluten-free chocolate-chip pumpkin loaf.
This is like a full Food Network experience, said Mr. Tortorella, as Cara Lanzi, a private chef, guided him to a preparation table. The thing I love about cooking is you can improvise. My mom taught me how to cook, and she has never used a recipe.
First up was the chili. My mom makes a mean chili with Italian sausage, he said.
As advised by Ms. Lanzi, Mr. Tortorella turned up the flame to a medium high heat and then added some cold-pressed olive oil and cumin. Can you smell the fragrance? he asked.
Then came some jalapeos, the diced tomato, carrots and the beef. After some stirring, it was time to lower the heat and move onto the chocolate-chip pumpkin bread, which involved eggs, gluten-free flour, pumpkin pure and some dark chocolate chips.
How do you feel about eating while youre cooking? Mr. Tortorella asked Ms. Lanzi, who said she didnt mind it. I just want to lick that spoon.
The pumpkin loaf went into the oven for 40 minutes and Ms. Lanzi and Mr. Tortorella went to go check in on the chili.
Lets eat this, he said.
As Mr. Tortorella ate a heaping bowl full, he talked about some of his side projects. One is a line of snakeskin backpacks he is mostly making for himself. Another is a documentary he has been working on called Nico Nico Nico, about a day in his life last summer. And then if hes not working on either of those things, I paint, he said.
I have all this free time, he added, as he went to refill his bowl with chili. I have to fill it with something. Its not all necessarily going to be award-winning material, but at least Im creatively challenged.
Mr. Tortorella, who also had a plum role in the Fox serial killer drama The Following, returned to the chili for a moment: This is delicious, he said.
On the second season of Younger, Mr. Tortorella said that the series dives into a lot more of the characters. Though Liza has told Josh that she isnt 26, she still continues to lie to many of the people in her orbit and hes not sure if he can live with someone whos lying to everyone else. Josh and I are a lot alike in that were both trying to live a truthful, authentic life.
It was time for the pumpkin loaf, and as Mr. Tortorella dove into that, he spoke about some of his resolutions for 2016. They include stopping smoking, producing more of his own material and cutting out dairy. Cutting out dairy, he hoped, will make my skin tighter.
Then he took a bite of the pumpkin loaf and swooned.
And Im definitely going to start baking more, he said.
Source: The Wall Street Journal