“I don’t normally go out to dinner in New York. I like to look at restaurants, not eat in them,” says Amy Sedaris, star of Strangers with Candy, baker of cupcakes (and maker of cheeseballs!). In light of that, the toothsome comedienne and her pal Justin Theroux (who deliciously lit up the screen in Mulholland Dr. and “Six Feet Under”) decided to turn us on to the wonderful world of baked goods. Read on, as Amy and Justin break bread early one Sunday morning at the Blue Ribbon Bakery Market, and end with dessert just around the corner in New York’s West Village, at Justin’s beloved cream puff stop, Beard Papa.—Jess Holl
BLACKBOOK: So, Taste Buds, how did you meet?
JUSTIN THEROUX: I first met Amy when I was doing a play and she was doing “Strangers with Candy” and working at Marion’s as a waitress at the same time. I would go there after the show every night. But we really met when Philip Seymour Hoffman re-introduced me to her over lunch one day. We’ve been Taste Buds ever since.
AMY SEDARIS: And the Blue Ribbon Bakery Market is one of my favorite places to eat.
BB: What do you usually order here?
AS: A piece of bread with goat cheese on it with some herbs and some salt. Their hummus is really good, too, and so are their breads and cheeses, honeys, iced tea, coffee, and the toast guy, Sasha Acosta-Cohen.
BB: Do you cook a lot? AS: We both cook, we both entertain. I make a lot of Greek food. And I make cupcakes, which I sell at Joe’s coffee shop.
JT: And you make deliveries on movie sets.
AS: If Justin ever gets a movie, he orders cupcakes from me. BB: Justin, didn’t you just direct a movie, Dedication?
JT: I did just direct a movie, but it sounds terrible when you talk about it: It’s a “quirky love story.” I haven’t quite yet perfected the way of describing it. If nothing else, it’s got a great cast, and, directing aside, there are stellar performances given by all. And Amy did bring cupcakes to the set.
AS: And I’m in it, too. I’m an extra, and I’m abusive, and my daughter’s deaf, and I’m a drug addict, and I wear my own clothes.
JT: And she fits all of this in the two lines that she has.
AS: What’s your specialty recipe, Justin?
JT: I make something called Mountain Climber in the morning. I poach an egg, put it in a bowl, then get some toast and tear it up in teeny pieces, and then I mix it all up so the toast is like croutons. It’s what mountain climbers make. BB: Have you eaten it while mountain-climbing?
JT: You know, I can’t confirm that mountain climbers eat it, but I think it’d be great if you were hanging off the side of a mountain—and you had a bowl.
AS: Uh, you need a toaster!
JT: Oh, yeah.
AS: On a mountain? Where you gonna plug that in? You’re not thinking! Maybe put it out in the sun for a day or two.
BB: Shall we go to Beard Papa?
JT: Yes. Now it’s time for a smoke break. This is the best part of “Taste Buds.”
AS: What did you do this weekend?
JT: I had dinner with David Lynch last night. I’m going to see a preview of his new movie, Inland Empire tonight. BB: Is eating with David Lynch anything like working with him?
JT: Eating with him is not at all like working with him, although the best part of both is that there’s a really good time to be had. He’s a very funny guy. The biggest anomaly to working with David is that his movies can be brutal and nightmarish, but the process of making them never is. If you wandered on set and didn’t know we were making a Lynch film, you might think we were making a romantic comedy.
AS: So, Beard Papa—this is Justin’s place.
JT: Yeah, she always called it Papa Beard. [Orders cream puffs]
AS: Ooh, look how invasive that is, the way they stick the thing in the puff and pump away. Taste Buds!
JT: Taste Buds! I love that. Can we make a logo for it and put it on the piece? [See page 36.] I did a lot of the drawings in Amy’s cookbook.
BB: Amy, what was the idea behind your cookbook, I Like You: Hospitality Under the Influence?
AS: Well, I’ve always collected recipes and stuff from my family, and I’m also really good at getting a group of people together and telling them what to do while I lay on my back on the couch smoking pot. I wanted to make it very visual so illiterate people could enjoy it, too.
JT: So, how is the cream puff?
AS: The cream puff was fantastic. It was cold in the middle. BB: Is your cream puff and espresso a good alternative to coffee and a doughnut?
AS: Or sex and a cigarette.
JT: Fried doughnuts are good, too. Take a doughnut, split it down the center, butter it, and put it facedown in a pan. It’s a nice winter snack.
AS: Where were you when I was writing “Munchies”?
JT: I know, that should be in the stoner section. We could give them a name like “Double-Fried Doughnuts.” DFDs. Kind of like—what’s in marijuana? TLC?
AS: Yes, TLC. “Taste Buds.” You should do a whole thing on pot.
JT: But we’re buds.
AS: Hmm? Oh yeah, that never entered my mind.
JT: “Taste Buds” should be a club.
AS: Mm-hmm [operator voice]: “‘Taste Buds,’ hold, please.”
Beard Papa, 5 Carmine St., New York City, 212-989-8855 or www.muginohousa.com for locations.
Photos by Kareem Black