By Shelley Chapman
Terry Crews, known as the penny-pinching father of Chris Rock on the show, “Everybody Hates Chris” and more recently as the father figure on the TBS show, “Are We There Yet,” shares with Cuisine Noir Magazine how he transitioned from the NFL to a successful Hollywood career, how the peanut butter sandwiched cookies from Dishes lifts his spirits and how grilled buffalo rib eyes are the cure to his hunger.
1. How did you transition from the NFL to a successful Hollywood career?
“It was kind of a fluke; I never really wanted to be an actor. I always wanted to be behind the scenes [lighting, production] and I was actually interested in doing special effects because art was my major in college. I got invited to do an audition for “Battle Dome” and it was my first audition and I got it. From that point, it sparked a whole career!”
2. You’re a father of five, three of them (Terra, Wynfrey and Isaiah) are still home. Do you all get a chance to have family meals? If so, who does the cooking and what’s the family favorite?
“We try to eat as a family as much as we can; however, we eat out a lot. The kids love Applebee’s and Cheesecake Factory. They always get the same thing–burgers and fries! When my wife and I go out, we love to eat well. Although, I’m a fitness buff and I eat extremely healthy [protein shakes, almonds, oatmeal], when I want to indulge I always look for really good food.
If I can, I love to grill on the weekends. My favorite meal is a buffalo rib eye, marinated in Vendenson’s, which is a marinade I found at Whole Foods a long time ago. It is my absolute favorite meal of all time, especially in the summertime. When we lived in California, we grilled all the time, but now that we’re on the East Coast, I couldn’t wait for it to get warm!”
3. In the first season of “The Family Crews,” you proposed to your wife of 22 years again. It’s beautiful to see that your love and connection is still strong. With such a busy schedule, do you all get a chance to have special date nights? If so, what are two of your favorite restaurants?
“Yes, July 29 will make 22 years. In the Greenville area of Greenwich, Conn., there’s a spot called Rebecca’s and I love it because it’s also named after my wife. It’s a real foodie place. I never liked caviar until I had it there. It’s really fancy and I’ve never had a bad meal there! In NYC, we love Nobu. It’s Japanese and they serve really amazing fusion dishes. They do sushi differently and their food is healthy and I always feel good eating it. I never have a bad meal and I get full every time. They always have a table available for me [even if it’s full] because I’ve eaten there so often. In California, we go to Katsuya, another Japanese restaurant. I’ve gotten away from a lot of soul food restaurants and steak houses, even though I still love it, I just never feel good the next day after eating it. Those places just don’t fit my lifestyle.”
4. If Jerome Mayberry, your alter ego and spokesperson and creator of 4 Real X Workout program, had a favorite food, what would it be?
Terry laughs at the question and replies in his Jerome Mayberry voice, “Well you know Jerome’s a soul food guy. He’s the world’s worst trainer. He thinks that if you eat horribly, it will make you workout more. The guilt of unhealthy eating makes him want to work out more. And when he’s finished he washes it down with a glass of red Kool-Aid for the electrolytes! Oh and he loves to smoke on the treadmill because it gives his lungs a better workout!”
“In Glenville, [Conn.], there’s this placed called Mediterraneo’s. The hummus and kebabs are delicious. I like Greek food a lot because the food makes you feel good and they do well with portion control. When you have good food in small portions, you can actually enjoy the taste of the food.”
When asked about his sweet tooth, he replied, “I run 4 miles a day so I can have a sweet! Corner Bakery has the best cinnamon cake and it is so rich. If you were in the desert, a slice of that [cake] would set you straight for weeks. In New York, there’s a place called Dishes and it’s incredible. The food is so fresh and I love their sweet potatoes, broccoli, chicken and salmon. The cool part is that it is buffet style. They have the best albacore tuna panini I’ve had in my life, I freak out for that stuff man. Oooh and they have a peanut butter sandwich cookie and each cookie tastes just like mama just made it. It’s the right amount of crispy and soft with a layer of peanut butter in between. I also love their Rugelach, a pastry filled with raisins, walnuts and raspberries.”
7. Are there any upcoming projects, events or news that you’d like to share with the Cuisine Noir and The Culinary Scoop community?
“I’m shooting “Are We There Yet” now, and we’re not officially scheduled yet but you can check TBS for your local listings. I’m so happy to get back into the sitcom game and In the fall, I’ll be shooting “Expendables II” with Sylvester Stallone. I’m so thankful to be working and doing what I love! I love every minute of this, plus it pays for a whole lot of great meals!”