Hilah Johnson- the Queen of Tex Mex
Hilah Johnson is famous on Youtube mainly her web show, Hilah Cooking, but has had a passion for food since childhood. “I started reading cookbooks . . . when I was probably like, 10- for fun, which seems really dorky,” she laughs. At the age of 12, she manipulated ingredients to form meals for her family. “My mom went back to school and my dad was working a regular 8-5 job,” she says. “So I would always start dinner.”
In addition to an acting career and band, Hilah, with the help of her now husband (watch the video for a glimpse of her gorgeous ring!) Chris began posting cooking tutorials on Youtube. “It was [Chris’] idea to start the show, so without him, we wouldn’t be doing this,” she says. “He designs all the website stuff . . . he designs all of those cookbooks himself, comes up with the logos . . . it’s at least a 50/50 partnership there”.
Hilah Cooking currently has a dedicated fan base with over 120,000 subscribers.
In the beginning, Hilah was slightly nervous to read the comments viewers had left, but was pleasantly surprised with the positive response she received. “It was so enlightening and heartwarming to see people commenting and saying like, ‘this looks good’, or ‘I make something similar, like this,’” she says.
Hilah’s recipes come from a variety of cultures. She’s got Tres Leches Cake- a classic Mexican milk-soaked cake, or Mango Lassi, a famous Indian beverage. “I’ve learned to make a lot of different kinds of food that people have suggested that I’ve never even heard of,” Hilah adds. Hilah is most famous; however, for her Tex Mex dishes, particularly her Tacos. “One of the great things about tacos is that you don’t necessarily have to follow a recipe, you can kind of put whatever you have in it,” she states. “It somehow turns . . . this weird menagerie of food into, like, an actual meal”.
Hilah cites Texas, the state she was born and currently resides in, as a factor that has enabled her to use Mexican-inspired flavors. “A lot of people speak disparagingly of Tex Mex cuisine,” she says. “But it actually is its own combination of Mexican food with a very American slant on it . . . It’s our tradition in my family to eat tamales on Christmas eve even though we’re not Mexican. But a lot of people in Texas adopt these cultures because you’ve been living in Mexico forever,” she adds.
If you keep up with Hilah Cooking, you might have observed her consistency with a cast-iron skillet. “I love my cast iron skillet,” she says enthusiastically. “I’ve got a few. The one that I go to the most is one that’s probably like 50 years old . . . I can cook anything in it and nothing sticks. It’s amazing.”
Aside from her own Youtube channel, Hilah has written and published several cookbooks, with another on the way. She’s also got a cooking series for kids on Ulive. In addition to cooking, Hilah recently released a Thanksgiving sketch comedy which was shot in L.A. “I’d like to do more of those because they’re so much fun!” she exclaims.
Hilah’s videos are entertaining yet incredibly informative. Being a big fan, I was more than excited that she agreed to do this interview with me and look forward to seeing what the Queen of Tex-Mex has in store this upcoming year!