Salma Hayek: I don’t have any recipes, I look at the food and make up the recipe

Salma Hayek is currently starring in El Sabor de la Navidad, a Spanish-language movie she produced that’s streaming on ViX. It’s an ensemble drama that follows the three intersecting stories of two best friends working as Santa impersonators, a demanding chef taking on a new assistant, and a transgender woman reuniting with her family for the holidays. (Side note: Every time I hear about a movie with intersecting family storylines, I think about 1998’s Playing By Heart. Does anyone else remember that movie?) A big portion of El Sabor de la Navidad, which translates to ‘The Taste of Christmas,’ involves family and food, so during an interview with People, Salma shared her own kitchen techniques.

Salma Hayek Pinault feels just at home in the kitchen as she does in front of (or behind) the camera. When the holiday season rolls around, rest assured the Oscar-nominated actress and producer is simmering, sautéeing or stirring something on the stove right alongside her mom, Diana Jiménez Medina.

“My mother and I have never not cooked for Christmas,” the Mexico-born star, 57, tells PEOPLE. “Cooking is a way for families to come together.”

The menu, however, is never the same year to year.

“I don’t have any recipes,” she continues. “I love to go look at the food and make up the recipe as we go. That’s my special thing. I can improvise if we don’t have the right ingredients. When you have kids, you learn to do that.”

There’s just one problem with her tactics. With a few exceptions that she knows by heart, most dishes she makes are “a once in a lifetime opportunity,” she quips.

[From People]

Okay, that is hilarious. I would 100% eat a meal cooked by Salma Hayek. I’m sure everything she makes is flavorful and absolutely delicious. I wish I had more patience to cook, because I know being in the kitchen really is one of those things that families bond over. In my family, my youngest sister is the go-to for baking and my husband loves to cook when he has time to. I’m boring, but am really spectacular at timing chicken nuggets to air fry for just the right amount of time for my kids’ preferred golden brown color. I may have a tiny problem with following directions off of a recipe. I’ll either mess up the portions by eyeballing them (I mean, are you really supposed to just limit yourself to “one teaspoon” of garlic? Come on, now!) or find some other way to ruin it. I like crockpots, though. It’s hard to mess up crockpot meals. You just throw everything in there and forget about it for hours.

Photos credit: IMAGO/Barbara Hine / Avalon, ShotbyNYP / Backgrid, Xavier Collin / Image Press Agency / Avalon and via Instagram

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