Jeff Goldblum loves everything about cooking, but he can’t fry an egg or pit an avocado. And his knife skills? They could use some work.
Still, he’s a real pro at engaging, off-the-cuff conversation in the kitchen, which is why grocery giant Kroger chose the lanky, erudite actor to star in digital series Cooking With Jeff, a collaboration with Funny or Die.
The second episode, debuting Tuesday, features the brand, a few of its Southern California employees, Goldblum’s considerable improvisational skills and his Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom co-star Bryce Dallas Howard in a quirky 11-minute video.
Goldblum’s highlights include ruining a sunny-side-up egg (he didn’t oil the pan), dropping a piece of avocado toast on the floor and charmingly peppering Howard with oddball questions and pop culture references.
For the buttoned-up Midwest-based grocer (2,800 stores, 9 million daily brick-and-mortar customers), it’s the first brush with Hollywood celebrity and “a big pivot” in its marketing, said Stuart Aitken, Kroger’s group vice president and CEO of its 84.51° analytics firm.
“It didn’t feel risky, it felt real,” Aitken said. “He’s a unique character who’s authentic and well-liked.”
Goldblum, a passionate foodie and frequent ad pitchman, launched Cooking With Jeff this spring with Pulitzer Prize-winning food writer Jonathan Gold as the first guest. The 15-minute vignette logged 1 million views in its first 24 hours, with a cumulative tally of 5.5 million to date.
“Cooking has become cool again,” Aitken said, “and Jeff is the quintessential cool guy.”