Because food connects us all, Yahoo Life is serving up a heaping plateful of table talk with people who are passionate about what’s on their menu in Deglazed, a series about food.
Emma Chamberlain is a totally normal girl … who just so happens to attend the Met Gala, own the uber-successful coffee brand, Chamberlain Coffee and share her life with millions of followers online. While this influencer has made the jump from online personality to bonafide celebrity, she says she’s still the girl from San Bruno, Calif. who started making YouTube videos for fun in high school.
YouTube isn’t the only thing that’s stuck with Chamberlin since her school days: The 21-year-old shares that some of her childhood favorites are still comfort foods in her diet today.
“I was always a very picky eater growing up, so I felt a lot of discomfort around food,” she tells Yahoo Life. “So for me, my favorite memories were just eating at home with my family, because it was just easy.”
“My dad used to make me a snack after school every day,” she adds, “vegetarian chicken nuggets — and he called it my ‘morning snack,’ which makes no sense because I would get home around 3 p.m. — but that’s a really fond memory. He would make me my snack, sit me in front of the TV and put on Napoleon Dynamite.”
While Chamberlain describes herself as a picky kid who survived on a diet of pasta with Parmesan cheese, different forms of “fake meat” and cookie dough, the vegetarian has expanded her horizons when it comes to food.
“Recently, I started liking tomatoes, and I hated tomatoes my whole life,” she says. “I also recently started liking avocado these past few years. I hated that as a child — I don’t know why I hated it, it’s so good.”
Chamberlain spoke with Yahoo Life as part of her work promoting CAVA: The influencer teamed up with the food chain to create meals made up of Chamberlain’s exact order “It was really fun for me because I’ve always wanted to go into a restaurant and say, ‘I’ll have that,’ and it was my thing that I created,” she says. “With CAVA, it was so special, because I am just a genuine fan. That’s my favorite type of collaboration — when I genuinely like something — and I liked it before there was even a possibility of working together.”
Chamberlain’s menu included Emma’s Spicy Snack, which contained house-made pita chips and spicy hummus, and Emma’s Fire Bowl, which combined spicy hummus, falafel, pickled onions, olives, Persian cucumbers, tomatoes, feta, skhug (a Middle-Eastern hot sauce), and of course, avocado.
The Anything Goes With Emma Chamberlain podcast host has slowed down posting to her flagship social media platform, YouTube. However, that doesn’t stop her from making guest appearances. In April, Chamberlain returned to YouTube with Claire Saffitz, a writer, chef and YouTube host who has inspired Chamberlain’s journey with cooking and food.
“At first, I was really nervous, because I’m such a big fan of Claire’s,” she says. “I always kind of feel like, don’t meet your idols.”
“I was getting my hair and makeup done, and she walked in and we had such an organic first meeting before the camera started rolling,” she continues. “It was so automatic, she was so cool and I feel like even when the cameras off we were talking. Her videos for me are so comforting and inspiring, because for me, I never really used to care about cooking and baking and she inspired me to get in the kitchen.”
Their video, on behalf of her partnership with CAVA, was Chamberlain’s first back on the platform. But that doesn’t mean you should expect lots of long-form video content from her anytime soon.
“I still love YouTube even though I’m taking a break,” says Chamberlain. “Any opportunity to be in front of the camera is very enjoyable for me.”
Although Chamberlain is sad that her limited-time meal has come to an end, she truly enjoyed the experience — one of many amazing opportunities that have come her way since launching her career online at just 16 years old.
“I don’t know what happened,” she says of her career, “but I’m so grateful … I would do things for fun: The fact that it ended up where it is now — I just didn’t plan it.”
Something Chamberlain does plan are her favorite meals. Her go-to dishes are burritos, falafel with hummus and a hidden gem from the Whole Foods prepared food section.
“To be completely honest — the place I eat the most — I really end up in the Whole Foods sushi section quite a bit,” she says. “I’m there at least six days a week because I’m grocery shopping and then I go to get my little favorite thing — their spring rolls.”
“They’re so good,” she adds. “They come with a peanut sauce — it’s freaky how much I eat it. I’m not eating it out of convenience, I crave it. They put something in that peanut sauce that should be seriously illegal, it’s so good.”
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