Keke Palmer is arguably one of the hardest working women in show business. At just 28 years old, the seasoned film star's resume boasts more than 100 acting credits and she continues to evolve, challenging herself in new ways. Amongst the Illinois native's most recent endeavors is a cooking competition with a dramatic twist.
"Foodtastic really freshened up the idea around food competitions," Palmer told EBONY by phone. "It's not about how the food tastes, but we get exposed to a totally different type of food art."
The diverse competition pool is comprised of traditional food artists in addition to some professions you might least expect to encounter on a cooking show. "We also have construction workers and engineers who have experience in their own art and putting things together, but it's their first time with the [construction] element being food," shared Palmer. "Our show is all about making amazing art pieces that you might see in a museum and it has nothing to do with taste."
While Keke won't be trading in her hosting role for that of a Foodtastic competitior any time soon, she does have an interest in attending culinary school.
"My dad has always been a great cook," she shared. "I've had a lot of health issues as it pertains to allergies and hormonal things. I'm always trying to find a healthy diet for myself. I've always wanted to become more knowledgeable about what has real nutritional value and how to make things taste good. I definitely would want to go to school for that at some point when I have the time."
With so much on her plate, finding the time to pursue interests outside of work and unwinding are broached with intention and careful planning.
"It's definitely overwhelming at times," Palmer shared of her bustling career. "It's a blessing, but also responsibility. I try to make sure I schedule everything out including time for myself where people know that I am taking a break and recharging. Vacationing has become really important to me as I've gotten older. After doing this for so many years, I realized what it's going to take for me to be able to maintain."
In addition to travel, Palmer finds refuge in spending time with loved ones.
"I do a lot of praying, meditating. I'm very into therapy. I'm always on some type of self-help vibe. My career requires so much of me. I realized that if I want to do this and I want to continue doing at the pace that I'm doing it, I'm going to have to do things that are re-fueling to me," she said. "For example, spending time with my family during the holidays, that's a refuel for me. I'm hosting this year. I hosted last Christmas as well. I'm looking forward to everyone getting together and having a good time."
If you're looking for a way to unplug, consider heading over to Audible and checking out another one of Palmer's ventures—the Southern Belle Insults audiobook series based on the actress's beloved Instagram sketch character, Lady Miss Jacqueline.
"I got the opportunity to do a collection of short stories where we not only hear from Lady Miss Jacqueline, but we hear from Janet, this character she's been dragging all of these years," Palmer said of the sketch-turned-short-story series. "We got to hear and learn about her story."
"Foodtastic" is available to stream now only on Disney+