‘Cooking With Paris’ Is a Glitzy, Star-Studded Delight That Is Not About Cooking

In Paris Hilton’s new Netflix show, the star is very much in on the joke.

Photos courtesy of Netflix; Image by Maitane Romagosa for Thrillist
Photos courtesy of Netflix; Image by Maitane Romagosa for Thrillist

The first thing you need to know about Netflix’s new show, Cooking With Paris, is that it’s not a cooking show. Unless you’ve never made French toast, there’s not much to learn from Paris Hilton’s bedazzled, written-in-gel-pen cookbook.

But what the show will offer you is the easy-breezy entertainment of watching celebrities interact with each other in the “ordinary” environment that is the kitchen. It’s inspiring to see Kim Kardashian embrace the efficiency of being a morning person, jumping to do the dishes once the frittata is put in the oven. It’s fun to witness Saweetie’s laid-back energy, as she imprecisely throws whole limes and cilantro stems into a pan of shrimp.

Each episode begins with a grocery shopping scene, in which Hilton dons an outfit fit for the Met Gala to source ingredients for her upcoming meal. She then spends some solo-time prepping the meal一save for an appearance from her little dog一before her guest arrives.

The lineup includes Kim Kardashian West, Nikki Glaser, Demi Lovato, Saweetie, Lele Pons, and Kathy and Nicky Hilton. In the first episode, Hilton and Kardashian make a “Breakfast in the Clouds,” consisting of toasted blue marshmallows (a nod to Hilton’s favorite cereal, Lucky Charms), French Toast encrusted with Frosted Flakes, and a fritatta. At the end, Hilton and her guest will retreat to a dining room elaborately decorated to fit the meal’s theme (think: a jungle in Tulum, or a 1950s diner) and share a candid conversation.

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The six-episode series is inspired by Hilton’s viral YouTube video, in which she taught viewers how to cook lasagna. Posted at the height of quarantine, the video took on a soothing, relatable presence in such an unfamiliar time. And such was the case for the other celebrity cooking shows that sprung up, like Selena + Chef, Amy Schumer Learns to Cook, or Florence Pugh’s informal cooking videos on Instagram Live.

So you might be wondering, “Do we really need another one?” The answer is, probably not. But if you’re yearning for some aughts nostalgia一with notes of The Simple Life and some campy eye candy一then this is the show for you.

Cooking With Paris comes only a year after Hilton’s poignant documentary, This is Paris, in which she created distance between herself and the ditzy character we have come to know. It might seem like a step back, then, for Cooking With Paris to capitalize on that persona again. But the very clear sense of artifice一visible camera crews, Hilton’s involvement in the set production一makes it obvious that she is very much in on the joke.

And, even though she might not be a cooking expert, she’s right about two things: A person who is capable of cooking for themselves is sliving (slaying + living), and the best time to enjoy Lucky Charms is at midnight.

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Jessica Sulima is staff writer on the Food & Drink team at Thrillist. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram