Eric Adjepong is more than just a celebrity chef. He’s competed on two seasons of Top Chef and currently appears as a judge and host across multiple Food Network series. He already has a children's book under his belt, and his first cookbook is in the works. Adjepong has captured the hearts of many with his West African-inspired cuisine—including some of our favorite stars.

Last year, Adjepong guest starred on Selena Gomez’s HBO series Selena + Chef. Alongside Gomez’s friend and co-host Raquelle Stevens, the pair cooked a feast fit for a holiday brunch.

The centerpiece of the meal, a South African malva pudding, accidentally spent too much time in the oven after Gomez was distracted by texts from boyfriend Benny Blanco and didn't set a timer. Adjepong recently stopped by the Delish Kitchen Studios to show us how to make a chocolate version of the recipe and reveal what it was like to cook alongside Gomez.

The first time Adjepong met Gomez was when he showed up to shoot Selena + Chef. “I remember pulling up to her home. And it was like that scene in Taken where you don't know exactly where you're going,” Adjepong says. “I remember coming into the house and just being greeted by her grandfather, her grandmother, her best friends were there as well. And it was just a really, really sweet moment. I felt at home immediately.”

When he met the Only Murders in the Building star, she wasn’t who he expected. “I think the one thing about Selena that surprised me is she's an introvert,” Adjepong says. “She keeps her solitude so well, and I love that. I actually admire that about her.”

After Adjepong’s Selena + Chef episode aired, fans admired how calm and collected he was in spite of the mayhem in the kitchen—a skill he developed after years of working on cooking competition shows.

“Competition is tough. You're not only facing yourself and the camera that's right in front of you, but you have to present your food to a palate that's so trained and it's literally tasted everything in the world,” Adjepong shares.

He’s also cooked for some of the most critical judges on television. “Everyone thinks that Gordon Ramsay is the toughest, and he is a pretty hard chef to impress,” he reveals. “But I got to say, on the competition side, the judges that the most difficult to really impress are Tom Colicchio, Scott Conant, and Marcus Samuelsson. These chefs have been cooking more than half my life, so there's no wool you can put all over their eyes.”

Serving meals to Tom Colicchio wasn’t the only memorable part of Adjepong’s Top Chef experience.

“Still to this day, everyone that I competed against [on Top Chef] is a really dear friend of mine. We all have group chats. We all check in on each other. People are getting married, babies. Life is happening,” he says. “I got to say Top Chef is the hardest thing I've ever done, period.”

The show also gave Adjepong the chance to cook for celebrity guests like Lena Waithe, Kelly Clarkson, Ali Wong, and Danny Trejo. But he still has a bucket list of stars who he wants to serve. One famous singer and makeup mogul in particular is near the top of his list.

“I think Rihanna, I don't know her obviously, but I feel like she's very down to earth. She wouldn't necessarily do so much of the fine dining fancy, but more just like straight-up mom and pop, really just down-to-earth kind of food,” Adjepong says. “Like a conch salad, oxtail, maybe some patties or something like that for her. That's definitely up her alley. I’m going to guess. Rihanna, shout me out.”

Check out Adjepong’s recipe for chocolate malva pudding in the video above, and make sure to tune in to his show Wildcard Kitchen on Food Network.

2024-07-09T18:20:32Z dg43tfdfdgfd