Jonah Reider wants to talk about his latest project, Pzaz, but first he wants to clarify one thing: he is a cook, not a chef.
The press may have dubbed New York’s 28-year-old “dorm cook” – thanks to the fact that, at one point, he ran one of the city’s liveliest venues outside Columbia University’s Hogan Hall – but the glitz and circumstances of the high cooking no longer motivates him.
“I write some food, but I think that as a person with entrepreneurial aspirations, I wasn’t that keen on augmenting the imaginative spice blends I make with my wife,” he tells me on Zoom.
Instead, Reider is more interested in seeing food through a feel-good lens, examining the age-old question: How does what we ingest affect how we feel? Reflecting on his work as a cook, as well as a consultant for food and beverage brands, he quickly realized that most digestible wellness products – from “tonics for creativity” to “calming granola bars or whatever” – do not speak to him, or his peers.
“I don’t buy these products, but mostly, hardly anyone I know does,” he says. Inspired, Reider decided to visit every bodega in his vicinity. “I was looking for a category of assets that seemed ripe for improvement – and not the fanciful and best improvement for you, but a genuinely affordable improvement.”
Shifting his attention from the table to the bodega, he immediately found his subject: energy drinks, a genre that, according to Reider, struggles to keep up with the times.
“There’s a huge brand homogeneity. There are these classic men’s energy drink brands and then there’s a handful of neat and imaginative millennial challengers,” he explains, adding that most energy drinks are downright unpleasant to use. : they taste bad, make you nervous and make you pee.
This is how Pzaz was born, a line of flavored energy sprays.
Essentially caffeinated breath spray packaged in a brightly colored and extremely portable tube, PZAZ “delivers micro-doses of caffeine, electrolytes, vitamins and minerals that are absorbed very efficiently into your body,” explains Reider. “It is absorbed immediately through the membranes of the mouth and tongue, instead of being ingested and digested 15 to 20 minutes later.”
When it comes to dosage, five mists – a serving that can be increased or decreased, depending on individual needs – provides about a quarter of the caffeine in an espresso.
“[Pzaz] it makes sense when you can’t or don’t want a drink. When you travel, when you are at work, when you take a long drive, when you party, when you study, when you train “.
Pzaz is not a beauty product in the traditional sense, but, like any face cream or lipstick, it is designed to alter one’s mood and sense of well-being. In fact, stopping for a quick Pzaz spritz fits perfectly into Reider’s definition of well-being: “little moments of the day when I can really gratify my body in my mind”.
Growing up with parents who often hosted dinners – and in a family that stocked “a fucking ton of Aveeno oatmeal baths” – exposed him to the emotionality of what we put in and on our bodies at a young age.
“Being fed things that taste good, make you feel good, are fun to eat and share with people, really contributed to my sense of well-being and created an interest that later unlocked me while using a conditioner. imaginative”.
Pzaz covers the intersection of food and wellness, but Reider is also an avid consumer of topicals. Below, he shares his favorite beauty discoveries to boost the mood.
The first beauty product you will ever buy
JR: Aveeno Oatmeal Bath Powder. I actually bought it [for myself] when i went to college, the first time i bought beauty products on my own. I was a late Florentine. My father used it as a child and I love it every now and then.
The greatest madness
JR: Terre d’Hermès because they are essential. Perfume is beauty, joy and well-being! Plus: Marvis toothpaste, for an ultra-luxurious dental care routine.
Favorite in the pharmacy
JR: Cerave PM. This stuff is absolutely sick. My dermatologist really deserves a shout out on this one. Dr. Reider … is not my relative. This man absolutely saved me because one, he told me I had psoriasis and I cured it, but he’s also a huge Cerave fan.
JR: Obviously, a tube of Pzaz is always in your pocket or backpack. But in general, my holy grail is water. Much water. Tap water kept cold in the refrigerator. And San Pellegrino for special moments.
Favorite under-the-radar beauty brand
JR: My psoriasis flared up as we approached the Pzaz launch and I plastered my face with the Blume SuperPower Clay Mask. It feels so good, it leaves my face really tight and smooth.
Hot tip of beauty
JR: What do you put on in your body is 10 times more important than what you wear On your body. Also, make sure that fun and pleasure are part of what wellness, health and beauty mean to you.