Just like many of us, Selena Gomez has spent quarantine kicking up her cooking skills.
Unlike nearly all of us, she got to do it with the help of professional chefs and she filmed the whole thing for HBO Max. It's now a series called Selena + Chef, and while it's a whole lot of kitchen and Food Network envy, it also looks unexpectedly relatable. Who among us wouldn't be intimidated to have to cut up an octopus, or occasionally be afraid of starting a grease fire?
Selena joined pro chef Antonia Lafaso and executive producer Aaron Saidman for a virtual panel on Wednesday and explained that she just wanted to make people smile in these difficult times.
"I don't do anything I don't want to, of course, but life gives me so many different challenges, and I just really thought this would be something light-hearted, because I was getting definitely down," Selena said. "I know that there is a lot going on—and of course there's more important things going on—but this was an opportunity to make something that could make people smile."
"I hope you're gonna laugh because I look like a fool," she continued. "I wanted to do this simply because I love cooking, I just don't know how to do it all the time."
The show features Selena in her very own kitchen, video-chatting with chefs as they guide her through making elaborate dishes. Only her grandparents and her quarantine pod members are actually in her house with her, while the crew worked remotely.
On the panel, she opened up about letting fans into her brand new home through the series.
"I have a very difficult time doing that, because as much as I enjoy my position, I just definitely try to keep more of a private life, but this was different for me," she said. "I was actually really excited because I just moved into my home, and that's my new kitchen in the show, so basically I hadn't officially moved in yet. I didn't have certain furniture, and it just didn't feel like my home yet, so it was really OK with me."
That said, she knows her fans well.
"I can post a picture of the ground and my fans would try to dissect what happened, so that's gonna happen no matter what," she said.
You can check out Selena's new kitchen in the trailer below!
Since the show is fully a product of the pandemic, Selena also spoke about what life has been like for her over the past few months.
"It's not easy for anyone to be walking through what we're walking through," she said. "It's not normal, and it's affecting people, specifically with mental health. People have never thought about things that they're thinking about now, and it's just confusing. It was hard, but I tried to find what I needed to get me through it. I have great friends and I see a therapist, and I just try to keep my mind positive. I've learned so much about myself. I've learned more about my country than I ever have from school or anything, so I've been very grateful for that as well. A lot has changed. And I'm 28 now, whatever that means."
Selena + Chef premieres August 13 on HBO Max.