In which we chat with boozy chef Hannah Hart about Toronto, drunken cookery, and the weirdness of the LCBO.
Hannah Hart is the 24-year-old mastermind behind YouTube comedy sensation My Drunk Kitchen, which has garnered Hart’s YouTube channel more than 7 million views since its first upload in March. We caught up with the San Francisco transplant at her current home in NYC to discuss her impressions of our own fine town after a recent trip here and to throw a few pressing questions from Torontoist readers her way.
Torontoist: What brought you to Toronto, anyway?
Hart: I was visiting friends in Little Italy. It was great!
You many not know this, but the rest of Canada kind of hates Toronto because, among other things, they think we’re trying to be New York. But, since you actually live in New York, do you think we do a good job?
They’re completely different. I mean, New York is disgusting. New York is a shithole! It’s so dirty and gross here. I think Toronto is its own cultural creation and it doesn’t need to try to be anybody else. It definitely didn’t feel like New York. It felt like a big city—a great big city—but I guess in this modern era, when you’re in one big city it kind of feels like all the big cities. Toronto felt more like a European city than an American city, maybe. Anyway, Toronto is winning. That’ll be my quote.
In your Hanada video, you did a lot of good Toronto-y stuff: Kensington, Chinatown, the CN Tower, Yonge Street. Any highlights? Lowlights? Be honest.
Well, Toronto is the cleanest city I’ve ever been in in my life. Just completely, totally clean. And lots of space—it didn’t really feel congested or anything. American cities aren’t nearly as clean. Also, people [in Toronto] are genuinely nicer. Or, maybe that’s just my impression. Although, on the street I said to the camera, “People in Toronto just seem way more polite,” and this guy behind me said, “That’s not true! I just kicked a baby!” There’s one in every city.
Did you get a chance to check out one of our government-controlled liquor stores?
I did! Totally bizarre! I didn’t understand, everyone was like, “LCBO, LCBO” and I was like, “Why are we all going to the same chain to buy booze? Can’t we mix it up? Let’s go to an independent wine distributor. What is this?” It was so disorienting.
In your recent, made-in-Toronto poutine episode of My Drunk Kitchen, you get drunk on Caesars—a very Canadian libation. This raises the question: Caesar vs. Bloody Mary?
Oh, that’s a tough one. But…Bloody Mary. But only because I like when people put asparagus or celery in it, and I had vegetable-less Caesars when I was in Toronto.
And now, the Torontoist reader question lightning round:
Any plans for a drunk holiday edition? Specifically, an ambitious Christmas dinner with all the trimmings after a few too many ‘nogs?
Yeah, that sounds great. I did a drunk holiday for the 4th of July, and I’d love to do one for Thanksgiving and also Christmas. That would be hilarious. Also my birthday’s coming up. Maybe [I'll make] one for Halloween, too. Fuck, so many holidays, so little time.
One reader wants to know how you get that drunk? Are you shooting whiskey off camera?
Through the magic of editing, an hour and a half can be edited down to five minutes! It’s not actually only five minutes in real life! I get asked that question all the time.
What food do you advise never to make while drunk?
Anything that involves sharp objects and a lot of slicing and dicing. That’s my answer. Boom.
What’s your hangover cure recipe?
My real answer is that I avoid hangovers by not getting too drunk. The funny thing with My Drunk Kitchen is that I’m actually much more of a comedian and entertainer than I am a lush. People in interviews are always asking me all these drinking questions and I’m like, “On Friday nights I like to watch Arrested Development with my friends. Maybe I’ll have a beer.”
True or false: beer before liquor never been sicker?
I want to find a funnier limerick to reply with. Let’s just say my answer is: “Wine before wine and you’re ready to dine.”