What were your food influences when you were growing up and what kind of food did you eat at home or with your family?
I’m pretty amazed i’m still alive after the meal cycle we grew up on as children. Growing up we ate pretty much the same four meals on rotation- it was
- boiled eggs with toast and butter (No frills butter)—
- pasta (homebrand) with pasta sauce (Homebrand) and parmesan cheese (that brand that comes in a green cylindrical tube and smells funny when it melts)
- cheese on toast- (made by dad) — with bacon sometimes. and a salad (lettuce, sliced tomatoes and pickled beetroot… topped with praise mayonnaise)
- chops and 3 vegetables.
I hate my parents!
Now, i’m pretty fussy about eating good food. Good in the sense that it’s come from a good place. I love trying new foods– and spend a lot of time on tour finding great places for us to go out together and eat. I like eating locally grown foods- it always tastes better. Pretty sure soon enough i’ll be eating cheese on toast again. Go full circle.
What dish or cuisine do you most like to eat on tour and why?
I always have my main meal between 11 and 4 because i find it so hard to eat before going on stage– this is usually, if and where possible at a lovely little cafe with good coffee and good placemats.
I like to eat looking out over the sea, but that isn’t always possible… if inland i will look out across fields of barley or such things. I mostly always have eggs for breakfast/lunch- in France an omelette with ham and cheese , in australia scrambled or poached with a side of halmouni, mushrooms, spinach and avacado— in the US i try not to eat eggs- i got very sick once after eating eggs and so naturally that means i can never eat eggs again in the states- i stick to vegetables or salads.
What type of food do you hate, and what is the most disgusting thing you’ve ever eaten?
When i was in Thailand recently- part of the ethos of the community was that to eat meat we should be able to kill and prepare the meat ourselves in order to have a tangible experience of the death of the animal.
I was out in the garden when the chicken killing was going on so me and the other girls who missed the killing had to de-feather the chickens.
It was putrid the smell… we dipped them in boiling water and then stripped them. The smell of freshly boiled scroungy chickens with their feathers is like nothing i’d ever smelt.
I wrapped my scarf around my head and tried not to cry- their little boiled eyes looking at me while i stripped them of their coat. They were prepared for dinner that night. I thought surely i would feel better about eating the chickens knowing that they died well… but they were the skinniest chickens and it tasted like bones and grizzle combined with the psychological attachment to the smell of death.
What type of food do you make sure to avoid before a gig or going on stage?
All food. I don’t eat before going on stage. I have before in the past and i don’t like the feeling. The only thing that makes any sense is a banana. It seems to calm me down… also i’ve heard, i don’t know how factual this information is, that bananas have something in them that regulates the heart. Like a natural beta blocker- which is wonderful if i feel nervous at all.
Imagine for a second you can request anything on your rider at a gig. What food do you put on it?
I’d have an Ayurvedic chef. I’d love to have someone who prepares food in relation to the different body types and different seasons and so on. Ayurveda is amazing.
What has been your biggest cooking disaster to date?
I don’t know if this really counts as cooking- but after i left school i started working at a juice bar and we would make wraps and sandwiches and other things. The knives and forks were right near where the toasting machine was and every time i would reach for the knives i would burn my forearm on the toasting machine. The scars are less now but for a while my forearm looked very scary- i never thought to move the cutlery– i was so out of it at that time. I guess, i figured eventually i would remember to reach a little higher so as not to hit my arm.
When you tour overseas, what food from home do you miss the most?
I just miss cooking my own food. I miss having a kitchen with the spices and the sea salt… with all my favourite things in glass jars.
This is your last day on earth, what is your final meal?
Breakfast from the Galleon Cafe in Melbourne.
The tomato chutney, sweet potato and feta hashbrowns, scrambled eggs, avacado and dandelion tea.
Catch Julia as she finishes up her national tour this weekend:
Friday 28th Sept – Astor Theatre, Perth WA and Sunday 30th Sept – Bird in Hand Winery, Adelaide SA.Write a Letter to the Editor