What were your food influences when you were growing up and what kind of food did you eat at home or with your family?
Fishsauce. It came out of my mother’s breasts and I was breast fed till I learnt how to use a knife and fork. I also remember getting sent to school with lunch boxes full of scallops in white wine sauce and Vietnamese Prawn and Pork fresh rice paper rolls. I used to eye off the other kid’s crappy cheese and vegemite sandwiches and dream of one day being part of the gang.
What dish or cuisine do you most like to eat on tour and why?
I like eating riders cos it’s a perk. It hardly matters to me that it doesn’t represent a real meal as such, the ‘perk’ aspect of it somehow elevates the rider to a value beyond the sum of its parts. I like the way everyone attacks it with a kind of remorseless disrespect as well. On a European tour Ben and I once lived on nothing but a rider of Cheese and bread for an entire month so we could save up and buy a matching pair of Doc Martin 8 holes at the end of it.
2 days into our new boots we both had blisters on our feet and stomach cramps from all the white bread.
What type of food do you hate, and what is the most disgusting thing you’ve ever eaten? Tell us the story.
I’m not particularly fussy but Nattō (Japanese fermented Soy Beans) is pretty hard to come at. I had it on icecream in Tokyo last year and that helped but it was still weird. I also had Char siu ice cream in a ‘Molecular Fusion’ restaurant in HK a while ago. That was odd. Toriwasa – Chicken sashimi was pretty awful. I don’t think I’ll ever do that again and the all pervasive perfume of puppy that circulated about the platter of Vietnamese Yellow Dog paws made me pretty queasy I’d have to admit.
What type of food do you make sure to avoid before a gig or going on stage?
Anything that’s going to produce lots of gas because strangely, though you’d think that sort of sensitivity to rank odour and decorum would go out the window in the heat of the stage moment, the fact that it can really affect your game accidently wandering into the bass player’s vegetarian lentil curry fallout mid set is a palpable reality.
Imagine for a second you can request anything on your rider at a gig. What food do you put on it?
There’s this warm chocolate pie I used to eat at the café in the Mandarin Oriental in HK… I almost got into a dating situation with one of the dessert chefs there just to get the recipe but she started mentioning micro-temperature-controlled marble slabs for chocolate manipulation and at that point I knew neither of us was ever going to get what we wanted.
What has been your biggest cooking disaster to date?
I have a pretty good record with cooking for others (I’d like to think) but I have burnt a shit load of stuff putting bits on the stove and then going off into the next room to work on tracks ‘for a minute’. Last week whilst immersed in some crappy drum loop, I managed to leave a pot of water for pasta on full heat for a whole hour. When I got to it the metal was glowing red hot. I’d only ever seen that in medieval dramas and fantasy movies before so, stupidly, I poured cold water into it and the anodized based plate exploded off into the sink.
When you tour overseas, what food from home do you miss the most?
I miss the quality of the fresh food in Australia the most. When you’re in china and you see the crops butted right up against industrial estates and train lines you get second thoughts about the integrity of the produce.
This is your last day on earth, what is your final meal?
I think I’d eat myself to death. I’d start with a Turkish Breakfast, great green olives, feta, fresh cherry tomatoes, cuccumber and a boiled egg, roast to crisp some purple sweet potato slices and use them to dip into a fresh guacamole then wash it down with a home cooked Pho, followed by some perfectly steamed Xiaolongbao.
After that I’d have a super hot green Papaya salad with grilled lemon myrtle prawns, followed by a whole chicken slow roasted for 5 hours in wine, potatoes courgettes and onions.
I might take a sweet break and eat some Black Sapote blended with fresh cream.
A dozen raw oysters with lime and salt and some well cooked thick chips with shitty tomato sauce.
I probably then go a killer falafel yeeros with slathers of garlic yoghurt and chilli sauce. Maybe a single fresh perfectly ripe fig to cleanse the palate and a scoop of black sesame icecream. Then hit some sashimi with freshly grated wasabi and home made ginger.
I’d have a thin crisp pizza with a simple topping of anchovies and Napoli sauce and some homemade cannelloni.
Then I’d take good quality green tea then accompanied by a green tea sponge with fresh lightly sweetened cream and fresh strawberries.
A really good Da Dan Mein or Laksa would have to happen at some point.
And if you can find them South American Black Sapote fruit blended with fresh cream is astonishingly like chocolate mouse! Fucking wow!
I’d probably be dead by now but if I could manage to die face down in a piece of the aforementioned warm chocolate pie I’d be happy…
If you guys really need a recipe:
– The Purple Sweet potato thins dry roasted with a Guaca made of a couple good avos, lime juice, salt, half a finely chopped red onion, and half a finely chopped tomato etc. is a great simple opener.
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