BD Wong Eats Doritos for Breakfast
Rarely does life align in the way we hope it will, but on occasion, it does. When I found out that one of my all-time favorite actors, BD Wong, was reprising his character Dr. Henry Wu in one of my favorite movie franchises—this time in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom—and had just filmed a commercial featuring a one-foot Jurassic Dorito (my favorite snack) in a giant "dinosaur egg" that will benefit the people of Hawaii, I had to jump on the phone with him and ask for answers. Plus geek out about a cult piece of kitchen equipment.
Extra Crispy: I was so excited to talk to you because I read in a profile that you had an Aga stove, and only a real cooking fiend would have one.
BD Wong: I loved my Aga. I don't have it any more because I moved to a different apartment. It was incredible. It was very high maintenance and really fun and I enjoyed it. It was such a conversation starter. It made the most memorable beautiful meals and I just loved it.
Did you seek it out?
It was bright red and I sought it out because I used to walk by the Aga outlet every day when I was going to the gym in the Flatiron District in New York. I would look in the window and say god, that is such a beautiful stove, I really want one of those. When I renovated my kitchen I started looking into it and I just happened to go to a family dinner, meeting some very distant relatives from Canada and they just happened to have that stove and I got to pick their brains about it. It turned the corner for me and I ended up getting it soon after that.
Did it make you a better cook?
It was a time when I was really trying to learn how to cook in earnest. And I'm a big fan of America's Test Kitchen and Cook's Illustrated—which might be a competitor I guess.
Oh I love them. It's fine.
I was really into it. I did learn from their recipes all the basics and everything about cooking over a 10-year period on that stove. I would maybe consider going back to an Aga one day in a country house or something like that.
Is there a cookbook that you have similar feelings about?
Well golly, I own almost all of the America Test Kitchen cookbooks. I think they're so clear and great with the detail that's in them and the article that goes before every recipe that explains the origin and why they came to the conclusion that this is the best version of that recipe. It's really quite good writing and really what taught me how to cook. So there's a whole shelf full of those cookbooks, and I almost exclusively use them.
What is your breakfast routine on set and at home?
I always order the exact same thing for breakfast on set. On the shoot to do this Doritos spot I was kind of testing them to see if they would get it for me and they got it exactly the way that I had hoped. It is a wrap sandwich with chicken, mushroom, and spinach in it, and salt and pepper. No egg or anything like that. Hopefully on a brown wrap if possible. I always get this from the caterer when I'm called in the morning. I've done it for decades. It's my go-to, not too filling, not too carby breakfast that I have before I sit in the makeup chair.
And then at home I love to cook breakfast. I love love love breakfast.
I grew up in California so I love shredded hash browns, but I discovered from American Test Kitchen a dish that I never heard of before called migas. I started making it when I when I had my Aga—it's a great kind of Saturday or Sunday brunchy kind of breakfast Mexican egg dish made with tortilla chips. Now that I've done just this spot for Doritos—and of course I've been given a bucketload of Doritos to take home from the shoot—I'm going to make migas with Doritos. Doesn't that sound good?
Well yes. Is there particular flavor of the Doritos or just plain?
I don't think you would make them out of Ranch or Sweet Chili. I think you'd make them out of nacho cheese with extra cheese in it. And like a can of green chiles. One of the great behind the scenes things about the Doritos commercial is how they have a prop person picking out the perfect Doritos to use in the commercial. Of course you wouldn't see a broken Dorito or a broken anything in a commercial. You pick out the best ones. I got to take home any crumbs they had left over because while there are plenty of perfect ones, there are always a few broken ones and that's what you make migas out of.
Have you ever seen that trick where you put Doritos in a spice grinder and then you can put them on everything?
And you could snort it, I bet! I'm joking, right, but that sounds incredible. And you can imagine as a Doritos lover what a one-foot Dorito is like.
Yes! So I was obsessed with the very first Jurassic Park I saw it in the theater three times. The lesson I took away from that is just because you can doesn't mean you should. Are these massive Doritos in a dinosaur egg good for humankind?
All Doritos are all good for humankind, as are all dinosaurs. Because of that, the cross between the two of them can only be transcendently good for humankind. I'm joking but this character I play really believes that. I mean the goofiness of the commercial is that he's cross-bred dinosaur DNA and Doritos out and he is thrilled with himself. He's so happy that this thing is working out.
And you know what, it is actually literally good for mankind because one of these exclusive dinosaur eggs with a giant Jurassic Dorito in a fancy case is up on eBay and sold for charity to benefit the Hawaii chapter of the American Red Cross. The original Jurassic Park was shot in great part in Kauai and was really an identifying factor in the brand of the movie. And so subsequent Jurassic movies have been shot on the islands. I think it's just very nice.
Since this is a breakfast website I have to ask, what would you cook with a dinosaur egg?
Well I would make migas with the giant Dorito! Come on.
And how many people could you feed with that thing?
The dinosaur egg and the Dorito are so big. You could feed 20 people with it at least. It's a big egg! The other thing I would make a gigantic bucketload, a giant truckload of carbona. It's the carbonara that I've had at Otto in New York, it's my go-to carbonara that my family loves that that I make when we're feeling a little indulgent.
You know the only thing that would make it even better would be Doritos on top.
That, you can use the Cool Ranch for.
If you'd like to get your claws into a Jurassic Dorito, tweet @Doritos with #JurassicDoritos #entry or bid in an auction at JurassicDoritos.com by June 20. All proceeds will be donated to help with disaster relief efforts for the American Red Cross chapter in Hawaii.