Meghan Markle taps into food influencing with a new lifestyle brand and Netflix cooking show

The Duchess of Sussex is seemingly on the path of reinvention following her stint as a royal family member

By Joy Saha

Staff Writer

Published April 18, 2024 11:45AM (EDT)

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex after a boat trip during the Invictus Games on September 6, 2022 in Dusseldorf, Germany. (Patrick van Katwijk/Getty Images)
Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex after a boat trip during the Invictus Games on September 6, 2022 in Dusseldorf, Germany. (Patrick van Katwijk/Getty Images)

Meghan Markle is honing in on her passion for food with a new lifestyle brand and a new cooking show. Just one month after the Duchess of Sussex announced the launch of her lifestyle brand, American Riviera Orchard, Markle revealed that she’s producing her own cooking show that will premiere on Netflix in the upcoming months.

The show, which was formally unveiled by Markle and her husband Prince Harry’s Archewell Productions company, will “celebrate the joys of cooking, gardening, entertaining, and friendship,” per Deadline. Leah Hariton, best known for her work on “Selena + Chef,” will serve as showrunner alongside Michael Steed, who has directed episodes of “My Next Guest Needs No Introduction” and “Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown.” The series will be produced by Sony Pictures Television’s The Intellectual Property Corporation, which is behind Hulu’s “The D’Amelio Show” and A&E’s “Leah Remini: Scientology & the Aftermath.”

On Monday, the Daily Mail reported that Markle’s cooking show will not be filmed in her Montecito home, where she currently resides with Harry and their two children, Archie, 4, and Lilibet, 2. The show will instead be filmed at a different house in their California town, the outlet specified.

The name and release date for Markle’s show have not been announced at this time.

As for Markle’s American Riviera Orchard, the brand revealed its first product on Tuesday: a jar of strawberry jam. The jam earned positive online reviews from several of Markle’s closest companions, including fashion designer Tracy Robbins and Argentine socialite Delfina Blaquier.

“Thank you for the delicious basket!” Robbins wrote on her Instagram Stories, per People. “I absolutely love this jam so not sure I'm sharing with anyone :) @americanrivieraorchard Thank you M! [white heart emoji] #montecitogoodness #americanrivieraorchard.” In a second post, Robbins offered a close-up shot of the product with the caption, “@americanrivieraorchard breakfast, lunch and dinner just got a little sweeter [white heart emoji].”

Blaquier echoed similar praises, writing in a caption, “Strawberry [strawberry emoji] jam makes me happy. And I [red heart emoji] your jam @americanrivieraorchard.”

An inside source told People earlier this month that Markle’s lifestyle brand “will reflect everything that she loves — family, cooking, entertaining and home décor.”

“Meghan finds the name American Riviera Orchard perfect. It feels authentic to her. She can’t wait for the website to launch,” the source added. “She is excited about her latest, personal venture. This is something she’s been wanting to do for a while. She is excited to share her style and things that she loves.”

Markle is also pursuing trademarks for exclusive rights to sell cosmetic products, home décor, stationery, linens, small kitchen appliances, condiments, yoga equipment, gardening gear, pet accessories and more under the American Riviera Orchard name.

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Although Markle’s brand and recent product release have largely received utmost praise, several royal family enthusiasts slammed the brand for being “cheap” and poorly designed. Critics bashed Markle’s calligraphy — a skill she studied and then taught while working as an actor — which can be seen on the jam’s label. Others also claimed the jam’s labels were peeling off of the glass jars.

“Anybody notice the label on the promo jams Meghan Markle is sending to ‘friends’ is literally peeling off? Not a good start,” wrote one social media user on X (the platform formerly known as Twitter). Another user commented, “Cheap labels coming off. This is what people were waiting for?”

In what’s being described as the “ultimate relatability grab,” Markle’s new projects are an opportunity for the duchess to rectify her public persona following the drama and racism she faced as a brief member of the British royal family. This isn’t Markle’s first foray into the world of food and home entertaining. Markle used to run a now-defunct lifestyle and food blog called the Tig. She was also famously in the midst of preparing “engagement roast chicken” for her husband when he proposed to her back in November 2017.

By Joy Saha

Joy Saha is a staff writer at Salon. She writes about food news and trends and their intersection with culture. She holds a BA in journalism from the University of Maryland, College Park.


Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Aggregate American Riviera Orchard British Royal Family Cooking Show Meghan Markle Netflix Prince Harry