Former Malcolm in the Middle frontman Frankie Muniz emerged from child stardom with a diverse set of interests and the personal fortune to cultivate them, from racing cars to drumming in a rock band. He might be the Valley’s most famous semi-retired Hollywood celebrity, but don’t ask him to share anecdotes about his days on the set – the New Jersey native was hospitalized on multiple occasions for transient ischemic attacks, or mini-strokes, and claims to have little memory of his early acting days. He does remember putting his acting career on hold to pursue open-wheel racing, being the drummer in the band Kingsfoil and, more recently, competing on Dancing with the Stars. These days, you won’t find him on set, at the racetrack or smashing sticks with his band. Instead, you’ll find him filling bottles of olive oil at his newest venture, Outrageous Olive Oils & Vinegars in Old Town Scottsdale, with his fiancée, Paige Price. Muniz sat down with PHOENIX magazine to chat about his new business and why he calls Scottsdale home.
You’ve pursued a lot of interests, ranging from acting to driving racecars to drumming in a band and even dancing on Dancing with the Stars. Would you ever return to them?
“I never left [them], you know what I mean? I’ve just always wanted to do so many things in my life… It’s not that I left acting for good, or I even left racing for good. It was just the timing, and something else came up, and I wanted to pursue it as well, and before I knew it, that new thing took over my life. And that’s kind of what happened with this, with the olive oil store.”
What led you to buy Outrageous Olive Oils & Vinegars?
“To be honest, I was actually looking for the exact opposite… But I kept seeing things that looked really good for [my fiancée] Paige… I stumbled upon the listing for this store. We’ve been in this store and we loved it. We were customers, and we really enjoyed the product. So, we were like, ‘Wait, we know that store!’ So, once we looked into it, we thought, ‘That’d be really fun.’”
What’s your favorite product that you sell?
“My favorite pairing that we do in the whole store is Persian Lime Olive Oil with Cranberry Pear Balsamic Vinegar. You could never get me to get a salad… but we found that pairing, and you can put any salad in front of me, and if I have that, I’ll eat it all day.”
What’s your favorite dish using the olive oils and vinegars you sell?
“It’s hard to say a favorite dish, but we do an Olive Wood Smoked Olive Oil and it really makes whatever you put it on kind of a smoky barbecue flavor, and we mixed that with Vermont Maple Balsamic and we put it on our chicken wings as a marinade. It’s got that sweet [flavor] and that barbecue [flavor]. Oh, it’s so good.”
What drew you to Scottsdale?
“I actually used to get a magazine … that would have two pages of Scottsdale houses, and it was always the Scottsdale ones that I was like, ‘That’s what I want. I want to see saguaros and mountains and mountain lions in my backyard.’ And I was actually looking at a barbecue [grill] for my house in L.A., and I thought, ‘Wait, before I buy this, let me go to Scottsdale because maybe I’ll find a house with a built-in barbecue.’ And I left that day, found my house, bought it the next day and I’ve been here for 11 years now.”
What’s your favorite date night spot in the Valley?
“It’s really funny, but we’re pretty, I don’t want to say lame… but when we’re ready to go somewhere to eat we want to go somewhere we know we love and is quick… My favorite restaurant is Hillstone. I’ve probably eaten there 500 times, and every time I get the Hawaiian ribeye and I love it.”
A lot of people know you from acting. What’s your favorite place to see a movie or a show in the Valley?
“I love going to the Camelback Esplanade, because the seats are really comfortable, and I like the food.”