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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.
Before he played Outer Banks protagonist John B, Chase Stokes spent his childhood years on Maryland's Eastern Shore, participating in a rite of passage for those raised on the shores of the Chesapeake Bay: crabbing for blue crabs.
"Growing up in Maryland, crabs are a staple piece," says Stokes, who grew up in Annapolis, Md. "My grandparents live on the Eastern Shore and I've grown up — since I was old enough to touch a boat — going out into the bay, pulling crab pots and bringing them in, then going back to the house and steaming them. That's been something we've done in our family for literally generations. We've been doing it since my great great grandfather was alive."
The 29-year-old actor, who recently finished shooting Season 3 of Outer Banks in Barbados, says there's something different about Maryland crabs. "It's not like we're just eating the crab legs," he says. "We're getting into the whole belly of the crab and you're getting the good, good meat."
And then there's the seasoning.
"Old Bay will change your life," says Stokes, who spoke with Yahoo Life as part of his work promoting Tequila Don Julio Primavera. "Old Bay just goes good on everything, and it's nostalgia for me. My grandfather was always 'ketchup and Old Bay' on his eggs. I could never really get within the ketchup space, but outside of that, I just always put Old Bay on my eggs. My dad does, my grandfather does — it's a generational thing."
While Old Bay Seasoning — McCormick's proprietary blend of celery salt, peppers and paprika — is always on Stokes's grocery list, there's another condiment he tries to avoid: pickles.
"I can't do cucumbers and pickles," he says. "I love the smell and the flavor, like if it's cucumber and water I'm all for it, but I can't get past the texture and the vinigaryness of the pickle and it's always been that way."
"All of my friends joke with me about it," he adds. "Or if we're out at a restaurant, they'll put a pickle on my plate just to watch me have the adverse reaction that I do.'
Although he stays busy with work, most recently serving as "director of golden moments" for a Don Julio campaign, Stokes says he prefers doing his own grocery shopping.
"I like it because I'll put a hat on and put headphones on and listen to music and walk through the grocery store and something about that, for me, has always been a way to wind down," he explains. "I've tried using meal prep services and things like that, especially because with work you're constantly on the go, but I am totally that person who sits down in my kitchen and looks in my fridge and plans out meals and writes it on a list."
His foolproof way to remember everything on his list? An old-fashioned notepad.
"I have this weird thing where I have a yellow legal notepad," Stokes shares. "So I'm that guy still in the grocery store with a yellow piece of paper and a pen, crossing things off as I'm going through the list."
Stokes says keeping his routines "as consistent and normal as possible" help him stay organized and have more time for doing things he enjoys, like hitting the gym, drinking "as much coffee as humanly possible" and spending time with friends. He says his partnership with Don Julio is a perfect reflection of his appreciation for a fun and unpredictable night out.
"Tequila has always kind of been my drink of choice: I've never really shied away from it and this whole idea of creating 'golden moments' [in the Don Julio campaign] is so true for how I personally live my life," he says. "I'm one of those people who live on a whim a little bit. It's all about having those really intimate moments with people where time flies by and you don't even realize it."
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