All The Foods Prince Used To Eat And His Most Peculiar Diet Habits
He just wants your extra pie and your kiss. Prince was famous for his flamboyant style, his guitar skills, his supreme self-confidence, and, of course, his prodigious songwriting talent. In fact, his estate still has a vault full of unreleased songs, some of which they released on special albums compiled after the artist’s death in 2016.
He was also proudly eccentric, or at least he was on occasion. On the one hand, Prince loved doing normal things like riding his bike around his Minnesota hometown, going to the hardware store, and watching TV on the couch. On the other, leather glove-wearing hand, Prince temporarily changed his name to an unpronounceable symbol, wore trousers with the butt cut out, declared the internet “completely over,” and had a swear jar in his recording studio.
All the myths about Prince make it hard to imagine the man doing something as normal as eating. But he definitely had opinions about food. When he loved some snack, he really loved it.
Here are some of Prince’s strange food habits and favorite foods. It turns out that getting a glimpse behind the mysterious persona will only make you love him more.
Prince’s Weirdest Diet Habits
Look, we all have our weird food quirks. Maybe you’re repulsed by the sight of blue food, or you can’t stand the texture of banana. And Prince was no different… Except he had the resources to make sure all his strange food requests were met. Here are some of them.
1. Dessert For Dinner
Sometimes kale just isn’t enough.
Prince generally ate pretty healthily. According to Ray and Juell Roberts, the married couple who worked as his personal chefs for the last three years of his life, his favorite foods included minestrone soup, veggie wraps, lentils, chickpeas, dark greens, smoothies and juices. However, he also had a prodigious sweet tooth. Ray recalled that he always had a dessert on hand, like cakes, cookies, or chocolate mousse. Sometimes that would be Prince’s entire dinner.
Before Prince hired the Roberts, he had another personal chef, Margaret Wetzler, who had barely graduated from culinary school when she took the job. She said that although her employer mostly ate well, he might also suddenly want a milkshake. One of his most bizarre requests came at 11 p.m. One night, he asked her to bring him a birthday cake. Instead of breaking out the mixer, she bought one at a store!
2. Midnight Feasts
Or 4 p.m. in Prince’s world.
Birthday cake at 11 p.m. almost counted as an afternoon snack for Prince. He even kept time differently than the rest of the world. His friend, political activist Van Jones, recalled:
He’s six hours off from everybody else. So when it’s midnight to you, it’s only 6 a.m. to him. And when it’s 6 a.m. to you, it’s only midnight to him.
This, of course, meant that his mealtimes were also on a different schedule. Wetzler recalled that the first time she cooked for Prince was for a party that started at midnight. And when she got the job, the singer’s personal assistants told her, “You have to be on call 24-7. Oh and by the way – he’s nocturnal.” Wetzler usually got a call around 3 or 4 p.m. According to the menu served at Paisley Park today, one of Prince’s favorite 4 a.m. snacks was a vegan peanut butter Rice Krispies bar coated in milk chocolate. That sounds worth staying up for.
3. Never Eating
He was a nibbler.
Despite Prince’s well-documented love of dessert, candy, and all things sweet, some people swore that they never even saw him eat. A journalist who worked with him in the ’90s, Heather McElhatton, said:
He could shoot for two days straight, without getting tired, it seems… I never saw him eat, like physically eat, anything in 10 years.
You know, he barely ate. I was always starving around him. I was always freaking hungry!
The people who may know better than anyone else just how much Prince could put away are his personal chefs. However, they disagree slightly. Wetzler noted that at her tryout, the man ate everything and asked for seconds. However, Ray Roberts said that sometimes Prince only ate very small bites of his favorite desserts.
4. No Onions
Or so he thought…
Ray Roberts said that he and Juell received a long list of foods that Prince didn’t like. Onions, mushrooms, and feta cheese stood out on the list. Roberts did admit, though, that he often finessed onions into the dishes, chopping them very finely to avoid detection.
Figuring out what Prince liked and didn’t like could sometimes feel like playing a puzzle game. For instance, Ray explained that instead of saying he didn’t want to eat any more red peppers, Prince would just leave the red peppers on the side of his plate. Sometimes he wrote notes in a very hard-to-decipher handwriting. But he could be direct if he wanted to. Wetzler said Prince only ever returned one dish, a bowl of soup that she knew she made wrong. Apparently, “He carried his full bowl back into the kitchen, put it on the counter and simply said, ‘No.'” That’s the worst kind of burn.
Prince’s favorite foods
You don’t have to be rich to be his girl. But you might want to have a Tootsie Pop on hand.
Party food fit for a Prince.
Prince’s passion for pancakes was cemented in a sketch by comedian Dave Chapelle in 2003. It was based on an apparently true story. Supposedly, Prince invited Charlie Murphy and his brother Eddie (yes, that Eddie) to his mansion, beat them at basketball, then served them pancakes. Prince seemingly found Chappelle’s portrayal so funny that he put a picture from it on his 2013 single “Breakfast Can Wait.”
To mark the song’s release, on October 19, 2013, Prince threw a 2 a.m. concert and named it The Breakfast Experience Pajama Dance Party. For a $50 donation, guests could spend the night at the breakfast-lover’s Minnesota mansion Paisley Park. They wore pajamas, listened to Prince and his band, 3rdEyeGirl. Of course, they ate pancakes.
2. Tootsie Pops
Everything is an accessory when you’re that fabulous.
Hairstylist Kim Berry worked with Prince for nearly 30 years. And she had so many behind-the-scenes stories about the enigmatic artist that she published a book about her time with him. She told ABC News that Prince had exacting standards for his crew, especially about their appearance since he was so precise about his own. Consequently, Berry learned to always have Tootsie Pops on hand to keep him happy.
Prince was such a dapper dresser that he even color-coordinated his lollipop to his outfit and handed them out to reporters. He even liked to suck lollipops in business meetings and at award shows. One bandmate suggested that it was a power move. He wanted to make them think he was so weird that they were better off just giving him what he wanted!
3. Chocolate Fountain
The trials of a personal chef.
Margaret Wetzler only held down the job of Prince’s personal chef for about three months. But if that sounds like a short time, consider that she was on call for 24 hours every single day. And Prince tended to work through the night and host last-minute enormous A-list parties that she had to cater. It was a tough gig!
Wetzler recalled that another of his spontaneous demands called for a chocolate fountain. She also remembered making tacos for Prince and his girlfriend. They ate on the couch watching American Idol. Although she struggled with the weird hours and last-minute demands, Wetzler said, “Prince was very private, mysterious and eccentric but very polite and kind.” He introduced her to every guest who came to Paisley Park, and if he particularly liked a dish, he went to the kitchen to personally thank her.
4. Popcorn And Goobers
Snack magic at the movies.
Behind all the mystery, Prince had some surprisingly normal habits, like going to the movies. Brianna Curiel, singer who opened for Prince, said that the star’s favorite spot was right at the back of the movie theater. And he didn’t have to worry about other people taking his seat since he was known to rent out the whole theater.
One less-than-ordinary feature of Prince’s cinema trips was his choice of snack. In her biography, The Most Beautiful: My Life with Prince, the singer’s first wife, Mayte Garcia, wrote that her then-husband added entire boxes of Goobers — the chocolate-covered peanuts — to popcorn. She even copied the hack.
Prince’s breakfast specialty.
Margaret Wetzler said that she occasionally went into the kitchen and found that Prince had used a pan to whip up scrambled eggs. He was even famous for them among his friends. Dancer Misty Copeland said that breakfast was Prince’s specialty and that his eggs were delicious. The singer’s backup vocalist Jill Jones revealed that his scrambled egg recipe involved, “curry and a little bit of Cheddar cheese… It was really good, actually.”
6. Fettuccine Alfredo
Although vegans like to claim Prince as one of their own, he was actually a vegetarian. His estate, Paisley Park, is still pescetarian. And Mayte Garcia said that their wedding dinner consisted of vegetarian food decorated with edible flowers. This detail is important when you consider one of his favorite treat foods – cheesy pasta. Prince’s personal chefs Ray and Juell Roberts said that although the musician didn’t eat cheese very often, when he did, he liked it on pasta.
And Garcia recalls that while she was a dancer on Prince’s Diamond and Pearls tour, he would work up an appetite on stage and then eat fettuccine alfredo — while standing up.
7. Spaghetti And Orange Juice
Is this not normal?
Another pasta dish Prince enjoyed was only made a little bit weird by the drink he chose to go with it. William Blinn, who was hired by Warner Bros. to write Purple Rain, recalled that he first met the musician and his manager Steve Fargnoli at an Italian restaurant. Prince ordered “spaghetti with tomato sauce and orange juice to drink.” Blinn said that Prince’s food choice made him realize the musician was one of a kind.
8. Spaghetti And Meatballs
Can’t beat home cooking.
Yes, Prince enjoyed the finer side of life. But he also liked home-cooked meals. People magazine reported that the singer’s bodyguard Charles “Big Chick” Huntsberry would often bring his famous client home for dinner or even Fourth of July cookouts. Huntsberry’s daughter Rebecca said the singer asked her mother to make meatballs and spaghetti, as well as chocolate chip cake.
It was probably a nice change. Mayte Garcia explained that going out to dinner was stressful because he was so famous. In fact, the singer even considered building a restaurant on their property to avoid the media. The couple lived on hotel room service so often that she hates it now.
The chip of choice.
In addition to Tootsie Pops, Prince’s other preferred snacking staples were Tostitos, at least in the ’90s. Mayte Garcia recalled that the first time Prince gave her a tour of Paisley Park in 1990, she spotted “a supply of Tostitos that he always kept handy” in the kitchen. And when journalist Alan Light interviewed Prince – then known as the artist formerly known as Prince – for the August 1994 edition of Vibe magazine, he noted that the artist’s Paris hotel room had the usual bowl of Tootsie Pops and other candy plus Tostitos and Sun Chips. Prince liked salty as well as sweet.
10. Herbal Tea
Since he rarely indulged in alcohol, if Prince asked you over for a drink, you may well have found yourself sipping a steaming mug of herbal tea. One of his tour requirements stipulated that he would need two boxes of assorted spiced and herbal teas, served with honey, lemon, sugar, cream, and fresh ginger at every show.
Some sources even suggested that Prince personally liked to take his tea with preserves. Garcia said that his Paisley Park kitchen contained a selection of teas, alongside that honey that comes in the bear-shaped bottle. And Alan Light reported for Vibe magazine that Prince took his tea with a scoop of jam. Tea with honey and lemon is supposed to be good for singers. But the singer’s jam preference could just be proof of his sweet tooth.
Like a true Minnesotan.
Just like 83% of Americans, Prince drank coffee. Understandably, he drank it with flair – no simple black coffee there. Margaret Wetzler remembered that on her first night as Prince’s personal chef, his assistant asked her to make the singer a cappuccino. She’d never made one before, though. But once she shakily delivered the cup, Prince paused his solo jamming session to thank her.
Prince also liked to go out for his coffee, notably to Minnesota coffee chain Caribou Coffee. On April 16, 2016, the Saturday before his death, Prince actually waited outside one of the cafes for a friend. A source told the Guardian that when Prince did treat himself to a coffee, he often got a chocolate cooler with no whipped cream. And you wanted to be the barista who made the drink. Prince’s keyboard player, Morris Hayes said, that since Prince never carried a wallet, he would only bring a $100 bill and leave the change.
12. Ice Cream
From beginning to end.
More disappointing news for vegans: Prince loved ice cream. According to the Star Tribune, a report noted that there were over eight cartons of Häagen-Dazs in the singer’s freezer when he died. Lest we think he was all about the junk food, note that the fridge also contained sliced fruit, organic eggs, deli salad, and fruit juice. Prince’s former personal assistant, Tina Kahn, remembered that her boss once gave her the keys to his car and told her to go buy him some ice cream.
Prince’s dessert passion even extended into his professional dealings. His first manager, Gary Levinson, said that his first-ever business meeting with Prince took place in an ice cream store. Levinson also said that whenever they were on the West Coast, Prince made sure they bought boxes and boxes of California-based Winchell’s donuts. Behind the glamour, talent, and air of mystery, Prince was just another sweet-toothed dessert lover searching for some sugar.