After losing his appetite while undergoing cancer treatment, Stanley Tucci is in remission and he's enjoying food more than ever.
The actor sat down with the 3rd Hour of TODAY on Thursday to discuss “La Fortuna,” a new show where he plays an adventurer who is traveling the world to search for deep sea treasures. During their chat, Dylan Dreyer took a moment to tell the 61-year-old that she loves one of his cookbooks.
"Ever since I got (it), we’ve been doing 'Tucci Tuesdays in my house, which means on Tuesdays, we cook from Tucci's cookbook. One of the recipes actually has become part of my holiday meal," she said.
Dylan then asked the actor, who has a food show called "Searching for Italy" on CNN, what food means to him and why it's such an important part of his life.
"It means everything to me. It's sort of all I can think about," he said. "CNN came to me and asked me to do this series a few years ago, and we've been able to make it happen...It's been a lifelong dream of mine to explore the regional cooking of it in as much detail as possible."
Tucci went on to say that he constantly thinks about food.
"It's the first thing I think about when I wake up in the morning and the last thing I think about," he said, and Sheinelle Jones agreed.
In October, the 61-year-old told the New York Times that his cancer treatment gave him vertigo and took away his appetite.
“It was hard because I could taste everything, but I couldn’t necessarily swallow,” Tucci said. “I had to chew it for 10 minutes to get it down my throat… [Other times] I just had to get rid of the food.”
He went on to say that he was more afraid of losing his sense of taste than dying.
“I mean, if you can’t eat and enjoy food, how are you going to enjoy anything else?” Tucci said.
TODAY's Al Roker asked the actor what his relationship with food is now that he's in remission and he said he has a greater appreciation for eating now.
"When you’re forced to go without something that you love, just like when you’re forced to go without someone that you love, you appreciate them (and or it) much more when you're able to have it back if you're lucky enough to have it back," he said.
Tucci then revealed that he was "very lucky" and can taste and eat almost everything now.
"My sense of taste and smell are almost heightened and more than they were before, oddly enough," he said.