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.
NBA great James Harden, point guard for the Philadelphia 76ers, is best known for his thick beard and his elusive basketball playing style. The baller may consistently bring his all to the court, but he credits his high performance with a a secret weapon that allows him to stay on his A game.
"I have a chef," the 33-year-old tells Yahoo Life. "I've been working with her for eight or nine years and she's done a really good job. Food is everything — people think about food a lot of course, because you have to eat. So that's an aspect [of staying in shape] I don't have to think about or worry about."
Harden says between a busy schedule of games and practices, he enjoys knowing there's food at home that's simple, easy and delicious. "When I'm at home, the food is ready," Harden shares. "When I go to work out and get back home, the food is ready. I don't have to figure out where I'm going to eat, or what I'm going to eat or the intake of calories — all the things that I worried about before. It makes my life a lot easier."
While having a personal chef makes meal-planning a breeze, it's also helpful to a foodie like Harden, who says although he has a great love for cuisine, he's yet to master the kitchen.
"I love to eat," he says "But, I don't know how to cook, it's something I want to learn. I think that's another hobby I would like to experience — I don't think I have the patience for it though."
"Honestly," he adds, "I don't know where to start, Hopefully I can get some tips from my chef and she can help me a little bit."
Though it's been quite some time since his last go at cooking, Harden feels confident there's one dish he could still accomplish in a pinch. "I can make eggs," he says. "I haven't in five or six years, but I feel like I still could."
Beyond incredible meals from his chef, Harden says he loves to eat out. From drive-throughs to dining in, he's a fan of it all. "I go out to restaurants and to drive-throughs sometimes when I can't get home fast enough or when my chef is not here," he says. "Sometimes I'm on my own, so I call those my cheat times. I have no one to judge me and I eat whatever I want."
Harden's favorite fast food meal? "Chick-fil-A," he tells Yahoo Life. "It depends — I might get some nuggets or I might get a spicy chicken sandwich. It all depends on my mood that day."
No matter his mood, there's one special dish that's earned the title of M.V.P. in Harden's heart ... and his stomach.
"I think ... I don't think, I know — some rice and curry chicken," he says. "That's just my go-to, my favorite. There are some other Thai foods but I would say specifically curry chicken and rice."
Harden spoke with Yahoo Life as part of his work launching a new line of wines in partnership with Accolade Wines, J-Harden Wines. From a California Cabernet to a red blend, the beautifully labeled bottles have been available since summer 2022.
"Getting into that wine space as of lately," Harden says, "we came up with something special — just a very confident and jammy and tasty wine that's at a reasonable price point and is different from your average wine bottle, especially with how it looks."
Harden says although he's been able to sample many different wines, this blend strikes the perfect balance for him, as it's neither too dull or too sweet when it comes to the flavor profile. "It took months to finally get the taste right," he says. "We really created something special — I'm excited for the world to taste it and I'm excited to see their feedback."
Now promoting his own beverage brand, Harden reflects on the power food and drinks have to make an impact on his day. "Every day [food improves my mood]," he says. "If I go too long without food, I get grumpy, a little upset and my vibe isn't right — isn't where it needs to be. But once I intake that food, especially if it's really good, I'll be the happiest person in the world."
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