John Leguizamo pretends to cook for guests

John Leguizamo is like a lot of New Yorkers who pretend to be crackerjacks with a carving knife when hosting dinner parties.

“New Yorkers do that,” the “Menu” star told Page Six on Monday at the premiere of the food-centric thriller. “Order it [the food] a little extra early, get it out of the containers, put it in your pots, and go, ‘Oh, I’ve been working all day for you!’”

However, Leguizamo, who grew up in Queens, admitted that doing so can sometimes backfire.

“The only problem is when they ask you, ‘What’s in it?’ and you have to go, ‘Oh, it’s a secret recipe,’” he added with a laugh, noting that he has pretended to cook gourmet meals “a lot.”

The “Carlito’s Way” star, 62, shared that he loves to dine out but confessed to a “problem” when eating in restaurants.

“You don’t get comped food. You get free stuff on the side, but then you have to tip twice as much,” he explained. “I end up giving a 40 percent tip, so I end up paying for it anyway.”

Leguizamo stressed that he always tips well because “you never want to be that guy that everyone says, ‘That cheap guy John Leguizamo never tips.’”

Justine Maurer, Allegra Leguizamo and John Leguizamo on a red carpet.
Leguizamo came to the premiere with his wife, Justine Maurer, and their daughter, Allegra.
Variety via Getty Images

In “The Menu,” Leguizamo plays a guest who travels to a remote island to eat at an exclusive restaurant run by a celebrity chef who has some rather macabre surprises for his wealthy patrons. The dark comedy also stars Ralph Fiennes, Anya Taylor-Joy, Judith Light, and Nicholas Hoult.

“It was one of the best movie sets I’ve been on because I’ve been on some toxic ones. This was so nurturing, so loving,” he enthused.

Although there was one issue: The “Encanto” voice actor never got to eat the “delicious” food they were served.

“It was beautiful, but you couldn’t eat it because it was shellacked,” he revealed. “The scallops, [chef Dominique Crenn] said, ‘Don’t eat it because it’s been there 12 hours,’ but then when she did put out some amazing chicken, I wasn’t supposed to eat it, but I ate it. They told me, ‘You’re eating all our props!’”


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