Did you live on the Disney Channel when you were a kid? Because we did. We like to think if The New Potato had a theme song, it would go a little something like this; “Sister, sister! Sister, sister!” (we won’t recite the whole thing). As sisters working together, we’re into all things sisters here at TNP. It’s why when we found out Tia Mowry – 1/2 of the star duo on one of our favorite Disney show throwbacks Sister, Sister – was doing a show on the Cooking Channel, we couldn’t resist sitting down with her (at our favorite restaurant, no less). Her show, Tia Mowry at Home airs tonight at 9pm ET/6pm PT. We chatted with Mowry on a Sister, Sister reboot, advice from Tamera and why she still wears overalls…
From start to finish, what would be your ideal food day?
For breakfast, I’m a huge fan of eggs. My mom used to make omelets all the time when I was growing up, so I would have a really nice egg omelet with spinach, tomatoes, mushrooms, and feta cheese, with turkey sausage on the side and homemade squeezed orange juice.
As a snack, I would have an apple. I just got back from this cool resort with my friend and they had these Pink Lady apples and they are a mix between a red apple and a green apple, so you get the best of both worlds.
For lunch, a really nice fresh salad, maybe with some almonds, avocado, and kale – I’m a huge fan of kale – with a nice tahini dressing, and some apples on top of that. I like having a little bit of that crunch in my salad; it’s very refreshing.
Then for my second snack, I love trail mix, so some dried cranberries, cashews, raisins, and some roasted coconut shavings.
For dinner, I’m going to have to go with a really nice steak, cooked medium-well, and some roasted, honey-glazed carrots on the side and garlic mashed potatoes.
For dessert, anything that has caramel in it. I love vanilla ice cream with caramel and fudge drizzled on top, maybe with a little bit of whipped cream and strawberries and I’ll be happy. Almost like a sundae.
What’s a beauty mainstay that hasn’t changed for you since Sister, Sister?
I’m pretty good at making sure that I wash my makeup off at the end of the night. That’s something that I’ve always been good at, and it’s routine for me.
Moisturizing has always been important, and I even passed it down to my son. I moisturize him after every bath, and I do the same for myself. Every morning after I get out of the shower, I moisturize with anything that has cocoa butter in it. My mom would do that all the time, and so I do it too.
What’s a fashion mainstay that hasn’t changed for you since Sister, Sister?
Overalls. I am a huge fan of overalls, and just denim in general. Denim is just so classic and something that will always be in style.
Will the show come back? We’ve heard rumors…
I think the desire and the want is there. My manager was like, “You know, Tia, I can make this happen,” but I think it’s all about timing. So I think that is the only thing that would be holding it back. But never say never! I think that would be the coolest thing.
Best advice you’ve given your sister and best advice she’s given you…
I think the best advice I’ve ever given my sister is to embrace being who you are; embrace being yourself. And the best advice my sister has ever given me is through her actions. I am in awe of the patience and grace that she has when conflict comes her way.
Do you cook with your husband? What do you two make together?
Yes, I do cook with my husband sometimes. To be honest, I kick him out of the kitchen sometimes because he always tried to add things when I turn my back. He likes to put his two cents in, but we have a lot of fun in the kitchen together.
Do you remember your first date? What was it?
Yes, I do! It wasn’t the first time we met – we courted for about a year and we were just friends and would hang out, go to the movies, but always with other people. The first time we hung out by ourselves, we went to the park and I actually remember what we were both wearing and that he had an Afro at the time.
I had on my Fubu sneakers and capri pants and he had an Allen Iverson basketball jersey on. We just sat down at the park and that’s where we had our first kiss too.
How do you practice beauty from the inside out?
I think that’s where beauty starts. It’s working from inward and then I feel that it starts to show outwardly. One of the main things that I’ve learned is that it starts with emotion – when you are confident and secure in yourself, others will start to see you that way. I think secondly, water. Hydration is key. I find that whenever I drink the amount of water that I need in a day, I have crazy amounts of energy and my skin is flawless.
So I think drinking water is really important, and obviously exercising is really important, but also what you eat kind of shows up on your skin and affects how you feel. Learning more about health and being more in tune with myself, I even see how food triggers emotion. It’s crazy how coffee, alcohol or certain foods trigger certain emotions.
It’s important to just take care of yourself. Give yourself time – meditate. I am inclined to start meditating more. You can start small. I feel that little things like that are more effective than covering your face and your blemishes with foundation. You exude what you are feeling.
What’s your daily skincare/makeup routine?
I am a huge fan of mixing highs and lows. I think there are certain things that you don’t have to spend lots of money on to get a good result. I’m a big fan of Dove, which has a great body wash I’ve been using for years.
For facial products, I use a brand called Honor MD by Dr. John Diaz; he’s my dermatologist in L.A. I use an anti-aging cleanser which is very hydrating and I also use a moisturizer. I think especially with African-American skin, you can’t be afraid to put on SPF, even though we have a lot more melanin.
My favorite product is called renew, which is also Honor MD. It’s a moisturizer that I use on my face with Vitamin C in it, and it just helps keep my skin looking so youthful.
What are your favorite cities for food? What restaurants do you go to in each?
I fell in love with Budapest. My husband was shooting a movie out there, and they call it the Paris of the east. The cuisine is un-freaking-believable.
Mercer Kitchen in New York is one of my go-to restaurants, and every time my husband and I go to New York, we go to Catch in the Meatpacking District. I love that area and the food is so phenomenal. It’s one of my favorite restaurants.
If you could host a dinner party with any five people living or dead, who would be there? What would you cook?
Well number one would be my son, and my husband of course. My mother would have to be there. I would love to cook for Martin Luther King, Jr. He has had such an impact in my life – one of his books was the first book I got to read to my son as a baby. I would love to cook for him and his wife.
I would have to bring a little Southern cuisine to the party, so I would cook my collard greens and my Cornish hen. That would be really cool!
Want to learn more about the Barbuto? Read about restaurateur Jonathan Waxman here.