ATK: Your husband is a well-known professional wrestler (Jon Moxley). Is he one of those eat-whatever-he-wants type of guys, or is he obsessed about what he feeds into his body?
RP: You'd be shocked at what he eats for a professional athlete. If I just cook him steak every night, he's happy. But he’s also a big snacker. When I have all these snacks sent down from Canada, he rolls up his sleeves, ready to dive into it. He doesn't eat for aesthetics, so he doesn't worry about a bunch of carbs. He makes chips sandwiches all the time.
ATK: What do you mean chips sandwiches? A ham-and-cheese sandwich with chips in the middle? Or literally a sandwich of potato chips?
RP: White bread and potato chips. I'm a chip lover and a bread lover, and I don’t think I can really get behind that. I respect that he does, though—he does it unabashedly.
ATK: Obviously you know a lot of wrestlers and MMA fighters. Who’s the largest person you've ever invited over to dinner?
RP: Probably Samoa Joe. I feel like I might've just done a charcuterie table that night.
ATK: A charcuterie what?
RP: I like to turn my whole dining room table into a large charcuterie board. A whole-table spread. I started doing this a couple years ago at Christmas. The table essentially becomes the serving board. I lay down something between the food and table because I love my table very much.
It’s great for socializing. It’s all about the variety, and for me, the cheeses. I want multiple variations of many different cheeses. There’s a company from the Bay Area called Cowgirl Creamery with beautiful cheeses. I make a baked brie in filo dough with honey and walnuts all over it. I have different pâtés; I’m a liverwurst maniac. An array of crackers and breads. You can have some dried fruits and nuts; I like a rosemary snack mix as well—that’s in the book. Nothing is discriminated against on the charcuterie table.
ATK: If I’m inviting a pro wrestler or MMA fighter to dinner, what pointers do you have for feeding them?
RP: Go large scale, for sure. Think old-school barbecue, things served in vats. Lots of meats—definitely want to have some turkey legs or brisket. Also, know that the bar is set high because a lot of these guys are big foodies. You can’t just throw down some lunch meats. You’ve got to give them the goods. They want something slow-roasted or cooked in a smoker for several hours. Protein heavy, nothing too fancy, lots of breads, lots of sauces.
Messy In The Kitchen: My Guide to Eating Deliciously, Hosting Fabulously and Sipping Copiously is out May 18.