Nicholas Hoult's Ideal Tasting Menu Isn't Exactly Gourmet - Exclusive Interview

Nicholas Hoult may have created a new character genre all for himself: the outrageously overblown foodie. You've watched him as Emperor Peter III, abdicating in favor of a good roast in "The Great." You're about to see him in "The Menu," where the Emmy-nominated actor gets even more intense in his devotion to the culinary world while playing Tyler. As Tyler, Hoult talks about "mouth feel" and marvels over a breadless plate with unaccompanied accompaniments with an earnestness unrivaled by anyone who aspires to the title "gourmand." 

Margot, his date in "The Menu" — portrayed by the effortlessly bewitching and equally skeptical Anya Taylor-Joy — prefers cheeseburgers. IRL, Hoult's tastes probably lean a little closer to Margot's attitude, although the actor certainly shares his character's appreciation for unique culinary experiences. To sample his ideal tasting menu, which he revealed in an exclusive interview with Tasting Table, you'd have to travel to at least four countries: the United States, Italy, Jordan, and France.

Why Nicholas Hoult hates soup

Nick, we're excited to explore your ideal tasting menu.

Yes. Oh, boy, this is going to be tricky.

Let's start with soup.

I don't really like soup.

No soups. Do you have any soup horror stories?

No, I don't have a horror story. Well — I guess [I do]. You know what it is with soup? When you have to throw up on camera, they'll often give you a soup to hold in your mouth to then pretend to vomit out, like a chunky soup, generally cold from a tin somewhere. Soup is never my go-to.

I do like a hot and sour soup, though. That would be my soup answer for now. I like that. I'm like, "Oh, what's happening here?"

Let's move on to salad.

This is a long answer. Get ready ... America does salads pretty good because they're very un-salad-y. I like a Cobb salad because essentially, I'm just eating cheese, bacon, and egg. It's all these delicious things. It's very un-salad-y. I would go Cobb salad in America.

A Cobb salad in America.

Which is also the name of my debut album.

What is your favorite salad dressing?

There's a miso dressing that we just discovered — I don't know the name of it. But oh, it's good. It's like a miso salad dressing. Miso balsamic, something like that.

Is there anything you won't put on a salad?


Nothing — perfect.

Sometimes I feel weird about fruit being in salads. Occasionally, people throw strawberries in there and stuff. I'm like, "Get out of there."

This is how Hoult eats his steaks

What's your favorite pasta course?

I went to Bologna a couple of weeks ago and I had tortellini there with ragù, and that was amazing.

Where did you have it?

At a restaurant [whose] name I cannot remember. I'm so sorry. It was very good. Also, I once did a cooking course in Italy, and we made fresh pasta there. That was amazing.

Can you give us your top pasta-making tip?

Do it with people who know what they're doing.

For your meat course, what do you pick?

I don't know ... I've never been to Peter Luger, the steakhouse here in New York, but I sat at a dinner once, and the person told me the trick to their steak is that they ... A lot of the time people brine it, or grill the steak, then wrap it in foil and put it in the oven to heat up afterward. Apparently, at Peter Luger, they did the reverse. They wrap the steak in foil, put it in the oven for a few minutes on a low temperature to get it up to heat, and then they lay the butter in the pan and sear it. That's the trick to making a good steak, supposedly. That's not really an answer, but it is.

Do you eat your steaks well done, medium, or rare?


Nicholas Hoult wants to be the face of mayo

You used to go to Nando's a lot, I understand.


What's your favorite Nando's order?

Chicken thighs. I like chicken thighs more than breasts. The chicken thighs, I'm probably getting it medium, but I'm getting a hot sauce as well and bringing that in. I want some Peri Peri spice chips; I want some mayonnaise and some coleslaw. I love coleslaw — anything with mayonnaise ... [I'm a] big mayonnaise fan. I'd like to be the face of mayonnaise, if anyone's watching, if it will happen.

What do you put mayonnaise on?

Everything. Well, not everything, but anything that makes sense.

What about your seafood course?

What was that restaurant in Solana, in Italy on [that] lake? It was up on the hill. That was a very good restaurant. That had a good seafood course. I'll tell you my worst seafood course.

Please do.

I was in Belize on holiday, and we went spear-fishing. We caught a fish and grilled it up, and the person I was with didn't like theirs. I was like, "This is rude. We've got to eat all of it because they've taken us out in this boat, and we've caught this and they helped cook it with us." I ate theirs too and then got the worst food poisoning of my life from that. We won't go into more detail on that, but it ruined my trip.

Are you a fish and chips fan?

I'm not a fish-and-chip Friday person. That's such a thing in British culture, but I'm not necessarily a big fish and chip person. When I was younger and we'd go to get fish and chips, I'd go for a battered sausage.

With the chips or without the chips?

With the chips — with a lot of salt and vinegar on there.

His favorite vegetable course is actually a dip

What's your vegetable course?

I went on a cooking course when we were in Jordan. We made ... What's it called when you smoke [eggplant] on the flame and then you make ...

It becomes this mushy eggplant.

Yes, what's that dip called? Baba ganoush. There's another name for it as well, but we'll name it baba ganoush. I love it. It's very good.

You seem to be doing a lot of cooking courses.

I like, when I'm traveling, going cooking and trying to cook [like they do in those] places, because you get to meet people and you get to take a little bit of information home and learn about it. I do like doing that.

What's your favorite thing you've learned in a cooking course?

You can put balsamic on most things, and it makes it taste better.

That's a very good tip. I've heard that you were never a fan of Brussels sprouts. Have you since converted?

Yes, because if you fry them and put balsamic on them, Brussels sprouts are then naturally quite delicious.

Nicholas Hoult and Emma D'Arcy agree on cocktails

What about dessert?

I'm not always a dessert person. I like a warm baked doughnut — a hot, fairground sugary doughnut, or maybe a churro with a chocolate dip. I like stuff like that.

With cinnamon on top?

A little bit, but don't go crazy on the cinnamon.

Do you have a favorite place to get desserts?

No, I don't. Sorry ... You know what I do get excited about? It's not a dessert, but when I go to France, getting a chocolate éclair with chocolate ganache — is that what it's called in the middle? Their éclairs are next level out there. I get excited about those.

Last question: Cocktail, spirit, or wine?

Cocktail — and I'm going to have a Negroni.

Same as Emma D'Arcy!

I knew it.

With champagne or without?

With champagne? [There's a] Negroni with champagne?

A Negroni Sbagliato.

I never knew that was a thing. Well, now I've got to try it. That's wild.

Nicholas Hoult stars alongside Anya Taylor-Joy, Ralph Fiennes, and Hong Chau in the black comedy "The Menu," which you can watch starting November 18 in a theater near you.

This interview was edited for clarity.