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California Questionnaire: Kelis

The singer, songwriter, and chef reveals her favorite things to do and places to go in California

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Kelis is an American singer, songwriter, and chef. After signing a record deal as a teenager, she captured feminist desires on her debut album, Kaleidoscope, and currently has seven records under her belt.

In 2010, she decided to pursue her passion for food and went to culinary school. Now a Le Cordon Bleu–trained chef, she has explored multiple aspects of the food industry, including pop-ups, food trucks, and a cooking show. Her cookbook, My Life on a Plate, features a mix of foods from her Puerto Rican heritage, along with dishes inspired by her travels around the world. Born and raised in Harlem, Kelis now lives in Southern California where she continues to work on her line of distinctive sauces, called Bounty & Full.

Where do you live? Glendale

Why there? I love that Glendale is a real city outside of Los Angeles. It’s still L.A. without being inside the busy city. Glendale is beautiful and lush, and I love the diversity.

Who or what is your greatest California love? I love all the different climates here in California. You can literally get from the snow to the beach in one day.

What is the biggest misperception about Californians? Biggest misconception about Californians is that everyone lives in Hollywood. California is huge and has so many beautiful cities—not just Hollywood. You can be outside the city and still be close—another reason why I love Glendale.

What is the stereotype that most holds true? People don’t know how to deal with the rain because it’s so rare. It throws everyone off and everyone makes the biggest deal!

What is your favorite Golden State splurge? R & G Lounge in San Francisco is great—my favorite dishes are the Peking duck and the deep-fried crab. They’re to die for! The best chocolatier is Recchiuti Confections in the Ferry Building. It’s the perfect place to not only get the best chocolate treats but there are also so many other great spots in the building, selling everything from mushrooms to soap!

Time for a road trip—where are you going? It really depends, I could take a drive up north to Big Sur, Napa, or Yosemite. Or head down south to San Diego. What’s great about California is that there are so many different parts and they are all accessible.

If you could decree an official state culinary experience, what would it be? Farm-to-table food. Californians are extremely food conscious.

How do you define California style? Extremely casual. In New York you dress up for every dinner and in California there’s no need.

Best California song? "It Never Rains (In Southern California)” by Tony! Toni! Tone! Because it’s so true and a vibe!

How would your California dream day unfold? Waking up on the farm with the boys. Being outside under the sun and fresh air—far from the city and tall buildings.

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