Daphne Oz has been making the most of her airtime for the past 15 years and now she is gearing up to release a new cookbook as her TV personality-turned-politician father Dr. Mehmet Oz campaigns for the U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania.
Daphne Oz recently unveiled a cocktail kit for Plume & Petal vodka infused with natural flavors. Through her brand ambassadorship, she has crafted a “Spiked Peachy Iced Tea” drink with an Earl Grey tea as a base, while the flavor of bergamot is picked up on the salted, sugared rim that is included in it. Imbibers can buy it online at the Cocktail Courier site.
Having had a busy couple of months, Oz appears on the daily cooking and lifestyle show “The Good Dish” with Gail Simmons and Jamika Pessoa and is the newest judge on “Masterchef Junior,” sizing up the talent with Gordon Ramsay and Aaron Sanchez. “There are all these incredible kid chefs, who are eight to 13 years old, who are just every week blowing your mind with homemade pasta and breaking down whole fish. It’s just mind-boggling,” she said.
Her latest cookbook, “Eat Your Heart Out,” will debut in two weeks and Oz will be making the rounds — hitting the morning talk shows and a few other programs, hosting a live cooking class, book signings and other events. The book features 150 recipes free from gluten and refined sugar. Noting that the subtitle is “All-Fun, No-Fuss Food to Celebrate Eating Clean,” she said the book details a five days on, two days off reset that she has followed on and off over the last five years. That was put into practice for longer periods after giving birth to feel stronger “without sacrificing delicious flavor and the pleasure and experience that her demanding taste buds require, and for a week or two after the holidays or stressful times to recalibrate.and break any dependencies that happen easily when you’re making choices for convenience and not always thoughtfulness,” Oz said.
Her social media followers or those who have bought her other books and watch her TV shows know that she only eats delicious food, Oz said. “I always genuinely care about having my meals be memorable.”
With four children ranging in age from two to eight, the Princeton graduate said — not surprisingly — that health was always a focus growing up at her family’s table. As the eldest of four, Oz said in many ways she grew up the youngest of seven. “My mom had me when she was 22 and my dad was 25. He was in medical school and then in residency when I was a little kid. We spent most days of the week at her parents’ [her mother’s] farm in Pennsylvania, where she is the oldest of six. I just jumped into the rest of that family,” Oz said. “Even a regular weeknight meal was for 20 people. Yes, health was a priority. It was never an obsession. It had this wonderful underpinning of food as the medicine you choose every day. My father, both my grandfathers and my uncle are all surgeons so my mother and my grandmother have always been into complimentary medicine and nutrition. We had this belief that food is this joyful, incredible celebratory place in our day. But it’s also this important way that you take care of yourself.”
She is verbose about having grown up overweight in a family of health nuts and how she cultivated a healthy lifestyle, as evidenced by her first book, “The Dorm Room Diet.” Over the course of having four babies and a 15-year TV career, she said she has been every size under the sun. Having been “the overweight kid” has given her an authentic approach to health that has translated into speaking up about body confidence and highlighting that through fashion, Oz said. As a woman, who wears a size eight or 10, she increasingly hears from others how her size and fashion choices motivate them.
Partial to ultra-feminine looks, Dolce & Gabbana, Prabal Gurung, Brandon Maxwell, the Wes Gordon-led Carolina Herrera, Gül Hürgel and Paige Denim are a few favorite labels. “I love how there is this resurgence of doing the most for women to make us feel supported and confident,” she said. “But the reality is it’s really challenging when you don’t have the benefit of having whaleboning, stitching and the structure of that [designer] finery and skill set and talent that goes into that.”
Given that, Oz said she is in exploratory talks about the prospect of rectifying that situation. “I’m very excited to see where those conversations lead. There are some things I know just from the initiate experience that I’ve had and from just the volume of clothes that I’ve worn. I have a bag of 20 to 30 pieces that I’m obsessed with that maybe weren’t made in great fabrics or maybe in the right colors. I’ve been homing in on what’s my perfect material and look. It’s what I do with food as well — it’s simple but luxurious. It’s really trying to do the most with the least.”
Despite her father’s political run, Oz doesn’t find herself talking more about politics or fielding questions about that from other people. “It’s so funny — they’re really not asking about that. I think it’s because my wheelhouse is so clearly about the joy and pleasure of cooking, makeup, beauty, style, parenting and womanhood,” Oz said.
And don’t look for the candidate’s eldest child on the campaign trail. “I have no plans to do that,” she said.
As for whether she thinks her father will win the seat in Pennsylvania, Oz said with a laugh: “I wish I had a crystal ball.”
The chef, author and TV personality isn’t advising her mother about any style choices for campaigning. “I don’t know if you have ever had the chance to meet my mother. She is a formidable force all on her own. She is always my style icon,” Oz said. “I do a lot of makeup tutorials online and people always asks me where I fell in love with makeup. I remember really early on sitting at her knee, watching her do her makeup. Putting on your face to feel that confidence, that glow and putting yourself forward as you want to see yourself — all of that I learned from her.”