Brian Bowen Smith/Fox
When the creators of Fox’s hit comedy New Girl dreamed up Cece — best friend to Zooey Deschanel’s Jess and perennial love interest to Schmidt — the character’s ethnicity wasn’t specified. But when half-Indian beauty Hannah Simone earned the role, the writers began to work her heritage into the show. “They’ve been pulling more and more of who we are,” says the 32-year-old actress, who’s also Greek and Italian. Her international upbringing has influenced more than just her work, as she’s passionate about global cooking and travel. Simone talked globe-trotting with AW and shared some tips from her time in transit.

ON WHERE HOME IS: “I was born in London, then we moved to Canada, then Saudi Arabia, then Cyprus, then India. It seems like a lot, but it was my normal.”

ON HER SPECIALTY IN THE KITCHEN: “A Cyprian dish called makaronia tou fournou — with pork and red wine and parsley and halloumi cheese. My true love in life is food, and being Indian, Greek and Italian, I cook all of it. If you look at my spice rack, it’s a Rolodex of world spices.”

HER BEST TRAVEL TIP: “Live like a local, even if you’re going somewhere for three days. Walk. Buy groceries. I like to settle in. I’ve been to Paris so many times but, to this day, I haven’t seen the Eiffel Tower.”

IN HER SUITCASE: “I travel with a half-empty suitcase, and when I get to where I’m going, I shop there. It’s so nice when you get home and you’re wearing boots or a sweater or a piece of jewelry that you picked up on your travels.”