Tia Mowry-Hardrict: Kitchen Love
Tia Mowry-Hardict faces a challenge head on.
“It excites me!,” she says with an ambitious tone during a conversation with JET. “Bring it on,” she adds. It’s almost like that’s all I know.”
She’s a go-getter whose defined vision, genuine personality and upbeat perspective on life has led her to a 20-year career span in entertainment via television, film, fashion and authorship. The tangible successes are a great extension of her talents and accomplishments, but the heart of Tia resides in her family and her love for cooking! In her new show, “Tia Mowry At Home,” the mother to son, Cree, and wife to fellow actor Cory Hardrict, brings together both elements for a cooking experience filled with laughter and some good eatin’.
Despite being busy promoting her new book “Twintuition” with sister Tamera, and starring in Nickelodeon’s comedy series Instant Mom, the self-proclaimed daddy’s girl took some time to talk with us about her journey into reality TV, controlling her narrative, and how “Tia Mowry at Home” explores the personal side she’s been ready to share with the world.
JET: Before we get into Tia Mowry at Home, I wanted to take a minute to talk about your relatable persona and evolution in this industry. What do you think contributes to your strong staying power and even creating opportunities for yourself, what has the journey been like for you?
Tia Mowry-Hardrict: I think, what helps me number one is being myself and, kind of like what you said and it warms my heart that you realized it, doing everything with authenticity. I’m not perfect. I am a go-getter. I am encouraging and everything that I do, I like to be real. I always like to do things that I’m passionate about. Life is short and if we’re not having fun and enjoying ourselves, why do it?! So if I’m having fun and enjoying myself, then people can relate to that and see there’s authenticity here. I think that’s kind of how I’ve evolved. And I’m patient with myself. I didn’t rush to grow up and I’m not rushing to get through the stages of my life. I’m gradually following the signs and being one with my journey.
JET: That really comes across in your work. The entertainment industry is hard and it’s easy for some to become removed from what’s real.
Tia Mowry-Hardrict: Yeah! I think what also helps is your perspective on life. I really value my family. I value my husband; my son. I value integrity, character – those things are really important to me.
JET: Diving into the reality TV aspect of your career, from the first show with you and Tamera on the Style Network, to the recent cooking show on the Cooking Channel, were there ever reservations on narrative and how your life would be captured?
Tia Mowry-Hardrict: Yeah. […] A main reason why I did [Tia Mowry at Home] is because I wanted people to know a personal side of me, which is my cooking and who I cook for — my family, friends and my husband. But I think it’s also important to protect certain things. My husband, son and family will be a part of the show, but that’s not the show’s focus. The focus is the cooking and yes, having a great time with my family and friends, but there will be NO controversy. I like to protect my marriage, I like to protect my son so you will not be seeing any of that. I’m willing to show, but there are certain things that I will keep private.
JET: Protecting your narrative – that’s a good point and you’ve proved that you can do that and still maintain a quality show with a solid viewership. Can you talk about the concept of the show and how you were able to really bring the vision to life?
Tia Mowry-Hardrict: I think the concept basically evolved out of inspiration. Being a mom is one of the hardest things I could have ever done in my life and it’s a 24-hour thing. So, I wanted the show to cater [to] busy people in general. You can be a guy who loves to cook, but you’re just on the go. So how do we make practical, delicious meals? So, it basically came out of that and letting people know that the kitchen doesn’t have to be intimidating. And also, kind of going back to that traditional way of coming home after work and making the time to sit at the table and eat with the family, because that’s where communication starts and that’s how it was with me growing up.
JET: And you’ve actually been cooking for awhile — starting out with your mom.
Tia Mowry-Hardrict: That is correct. I have been my mother’s sous chef for a very long time. I was in the kitchen at 6 years old doing dishes and by the age of maybe 12, 13, 14, I was helping her cook full on meals.
JET: Nice. What did that do for the relationship between you and your mother?
Tia Mowry-Hardrict: My mother, she is one of the strongest women I know and she just handles conflict with so much grace. So there’s a lot of admiration there and my mother is very good at balancing. [When we were younger] she was working, taking her kids to school and still making breakfast, lunch, dinner and still teaching and disciplining us. So when I would be in the kitchen with her, it would be a way that we bond and even to this day, it’s like a little dance that we have and we just sit and talk. She tells me how proud she is of me and I tell her all I’ve learned from her. It’s just a really nice time together. I think one of my favorite memories is cooking greens with her. When she would cook greens for the family, it was always during a holiday, and I would be cutting up the greens and it was just something that we bonded over.
JET: Speaking of that dance. Cooking can also bring a romantic aspect to relationships. Being in the kitchen with your husband, does that add even more spark between the two of you?
Tia Mowry-Hardrict: My husband and I are very supportive of one another, no matter what we’re doing and I think that’s what people really see through the television. We really have respect and love for one another.
JET: Going forward, what else can we expect from the show and what are you most excited about at this time in your life?
Tia Mowry-Hardrict: You’ll get to see the people who really mean a lot to me and that are really close to me. What’s so special is my dad. I’m a daddy’s girl and he can grill like no other. So you’re going to see him do some grilling. I’m really excited about that episode. You can look forward to laughs and everyone having a great time. But I think what I’m most excited about in my life right now is [that] I feel very fulfilled. I feel very Blessed. I’ve always had dreams and aspirations, but I never thought I would be where I am today. I have an amazing son, great family, my husband and I’m doing what I love to do and just hope that I continue doing what I love to do!
Tia Mowry at Home airs Wednesdays at 9pm ET on the Cooking Channel.