12 Feb


“Just because we have chiseled abs and stunning features, it doesn’t mean that we too can’t not die in a freak gasoline fight accident.”

– Derek Zoolander

The Set Up

For this post, we’re handing it off to our friend Stephanie Hodges. Stephanie shares our love of food, drinks, and film, and when she heard Zoolander was next on our list, she volunteered her hand in the kitchen and in writing this post. Take it away, Stephanie!

I’m a big fan of food, wit, and sarcasm, which is why a guest post with Munch was right up my alley. I thought about which movie would suit the blog by using some reasoning that Goldilocks would appreciate: not too horrible, but not serious either. Popular, but not overly so. The right amount of humor, but not painfully slapstick.

Who am I kidding! I really didn’t put that much thought into it. I’m pretty sure I pitched this idea to Andre over a vodka cranberry ginger ale at a party. Honestly, I chose Zoolander because it was my best friend’s favorite movie and I had watched it at least half a dozen times as a kid at her house. Her family also had Papa Murphy’s pizza every Friday night and we always had donuts or Lucky Charms the next morning, so there were additional perks. While I don’t have much faith in the success of most sequels, it seemed appropriate that with Zoolander 2 coming out, what better way to prepare than to jog our memories with the original? So, here it goes.

The Food

The Munch crew is back to take you through the menu.

The inspiration for the theme of this meal was Derelicte: Mugatu’s insane, trash-based fashion line that launches with Zoolander front and center in a thinly veiled assassination plot… But we’ll get to that later. We created a place setting out of garbage – literally. Egg shells, empty bottles, tea bags, and other refuse created in the making of the meal. And you know, what? We found it somewhat artful despite its distasteful origins, much like Mugatu’s fashion line.


We wanted our food to fit this setting, so we threw around the idea of a salad with slightly wilted greens. We decided to go with a grilled chicken and romaine Caesar salad, but just to be sure we made this model salad first.

Everyone unanimously agreed it needed to be “at least three times bigger” – this was barely enough to be a salad for ants.

We cut the remaining romaine lettuce into quarters, and brushed the leaves with a little oil and seasonings before throwing them on the grill. We dusted the lettuce with parmesan and cooked it just long enough to give it that signature grilled flavor. We paired it with some chicken breast, also prepared on the grill, and a generous helping of homemade Caesar dressing.

For dessert, we took a queue from Derek and his squad and made orange mocha frappuccino’s. We followed a recipe for an imitation Orange Julius smoothie, but toned down the sugar because we weren’t trying to give ourselves adult onset diabetes. We also traded out the vanilla extract for vanilla infused vodka because why not? We coated the inside of our glasses with some chocolate syrup and topped it off with whip cream. Now we all understand where Derek’s friends were coming from when they suggested this drink – it’s amazing.

The Drink

The drink pays tribute to one of the most uncomfortable scenes in the film, mostly because of our shared memories of watching Zoolander when it first came out (2001!) and not really being old mature enough to handle the implications. We’re talking about the orgy scene, and more specifically about the tea Derek, Matil(da), and Hansel drink leading up to it.

We crafted a hot toddy that Hansel would have been proud of. We combined whole cloves, star anise, a cinnamon stick, and honey in each of our mugs and brewed some English breakfast tea. We added some rye whiskey to our glasses then filled them with tea and topped them off with a squeeze of lemon. We could easily see how one might drink too much of this tea and make some “inebriated” decisions.

The Rules

  1. Drink whenever Derek uses one of his signature looks.
  2. Finish your drink when Derek premiers Magnum.
  3. Drink whenever there’s a celebrity cameo. (Warning: There’s 42.)

The Movie

And now we’ll turn it back over to Stephanie.

Zoolander is the tale of male modeling, self-discovery, love, and an international assassination plot all wrapped up into one movie. It’s certainly a plot you wouldn’t find in any other movie, except for maybe Zoolander 2 (spoiler alert! but not really). Also, an extra tidbit, Zoolander has a pretty excellent playlist, which I would definitely recommend for your next party. Last but not least, this movie is chock full of an impressive range of cameos including Donald Trump, Lil’ Kim, Lance Bass, the late David Bowie (RIP), and basically Ben Stiller’s entire family.

The film explores the life of Derek Zoolander, the king of male super modeling. He’s a man of many looks, including the signature Blue Steel, which is so very different from his other looks such as Ferrari and Le Tigre. You might even say that Derek Zoolander is the original founder of the duck face. But like any model soon comes to realize, Zoolander has trouble coming to terms with the fact that he may be washed up and no longer in his prime. What a pity.

Throughout the movie, Zoolander ponders what lies beyond male modeling, and is “pretty sure there’s a lot more to life than being really, really, ridiculously good looking.” He explores the meaning of life through a whirlwind adventure: after a reflective visit to his hometown, where he tries his hand at coal mining and claims to have caught the black lung, Zoolander returns to his true passion of modeling. All the while, an international scandal with the Malaysian prime minister is afoot, and it’s up to Zoolander and his friends to save the day. No seriously, this is the plot. I’m not exaggerating. Best of all, we get to witness Zoolander’s highly anticipated and so very climactic final look–Magnum. GASP.


Stephanie: At least three times better than what you’d expect. I might go as far as to say that Zoolander is one of the best comedy films of the early millennium. We found it interesting that Owen Wilson seems to have never aged… Or rather, he was never quite youthful? But his Razor scooter entrances are unparalleled and the nose – well, the nose. The movie is full of countless staredowns and perfectly timed awkward pauses. I thoroughly enjoyed my ORANGE MOCHA FRAPPUCCINO! and intend to say it in its signature exclamatory tone for as long as I live. This movie offers the best quotables and Blue Steel will continue to be my go-to look for silly pictures, and one I hope to pass on to my baby nephew. Good luck, Zoolander 2. Good luck.

Andre: Loco and I like it! I usually dislike Ben Stiller, and despite this being a very typical, perhaps even quentissential, Ben Stiller performance, I actually really liked it. I found it incredibly funny, and I loved the banter between him and Owen Wilson. On top of that, there were so many great one-liners in the film, and a great mix of slapstick and verbal comedy.

Leanna: Really, really ridiculously entertaining. I had my doubts about watching Zoolander. I hadn’t seen it in a number of years and with the premier of the Zoolander 2 ads which were just so awful on so many levels, I started to worry that maybe it wouldn’t be as funny as I remembered it. But it was! The celeb cameos were abundant and ridiculous (including a very young Alexander Skarsgård), Will Ferrel’s Mugatu was a high functioning hot mess and a complete work of art, and the seriousness of the Malaysian prime minister assassination plot layered beneath the idiocy and superficiality of Derek and Hansel is just ridiculous in the best way. It’s too bad Zoolander 2 will probably ruin this film’s legacy.

Ben: 80%. I enjoyed this back in high school, and I found myself enjoying it all of these years later. Yes, some aspects of the film I recognize now as being problematic, and I am sure the nostalgia definitely helped, but I had a great time watching Zoolander. I was incredibly nervous going to into our viewing, afraid that my younger self was incredibly misguided (even though I already know that to be true) but was pleasantly surprised when the film wasn’t bad. Derek and Hansel have incredible chemistry on the screen, and I was actually impressed the film allowed some of the more awkward moments to play out lingering on them to allow the audience to partake in that same awkwardness. And that is pretty much all I will talk about in regards to Zoolander. After watching the trailer for Zoolander 2, I wasn’t at all impressed, as it spent a large part of it focusing on a joke using non-binary individuals as the punch-line. That is unnecessary and pretty despicable and immediately turned me off from the film. Now I haven’t actually seen it to be able to comment on the potential arc that those characters may experience, but if you spend a fair portion of your trailer on the joke, I am comfortable saying that this film isn’t something I want to support.