Welcome to this new segment of my blog! What?
- Weekly, or fortnightly if I can’t get my act together, I’m interviewing musicians who I like but who also respond to my very earnest emails (it’s a genre unto itself) about food.
- Each person gets the same three questions.
- I post their responses verbatim here.
- We all learn a little something about the musician, and maybe even ourselves.
- My usual recipes and finding-myself will still continue as reassuringly weekly-ish as ever.
But why? Well, I thought it up one evening and wanted to see if I could make it happen, plus I thought it might make this blog a little bit more sparkly and new after five years. In case you’re hissing “so off-brand” in a stage whisper, hungryandfrozen.com has always been full of music, plus I find interesting people talking about food to be doubly interesting – so maybe you will too. Just like this blog itself, I’ve named this thing after a quote from the musical RENT. The quote appears in several different numbers. My naive hope is that you’ll go listen to the whole thing and fall in love like I did.
I am super happy to be starting it all with the bodacious and talented Anna Coddington. If you’re after a bio the one on her website is plenty comprehensive. What I will add is that I love her music – it’s breezy and gorgeous and snappy and as a starting point I recommend Little Islands from her latest album Cat and Bird, and Never Change from her 2008 debut The Lake.
Thanks Anna! And now the interview will begin…now.
Where’s somewhere you’ve eaten that you kinda like to brag about or drop into conversation?
This story started out as one I didn’t want anyone to know- ever- but now that I have enough time between me and the event, looking back at it the hilarity finally outweighs the horror. Just.
I was staying with my friend in Paris. She’s a fellow musician, a big time foodie, and a vegan, and she was excited that a vegetarian (me) was in town because she’d been wanting to try this fancy pants restaurant called L’Arpege that apparently specialised in vegan degustation. I thought, “treat yourself”, and mentally prepared to spend maybe 100Euro on a nice Parisian dinner. Outrageous.
My friend went online, entered her credit card details to get a reservation, and we taxied there in the evening. We were seated and as I looked around I immediately got the sense that someone like me didn’t belong somewhere like that. My friend ordered two vegan degustations and we were served course after course of ummm… vegetables. Some delicious. Some meh. Here’s some turnip. Here’s like 3 beans. Here’s one tiny beetroot. Etc. Couldn’t eat the last couple coz I was too full. Finally they brought us the bill: 600Euro. (That’s 300Euro each aka about NZD$500.) I wanted to spew. I glared at my friend across the table- had she known it would cost this much? She didn’t even flinch.
The waiter told us we got to keep the knife we ate our meals with and I felt like saying “how about you keep the fricken knife and knock 50Euro off my bill?”. Didn’t though. We paid (it hurt my feelings so bad), left, and held each other as we shrieked in disbelief along the streets of Paris at how lolz and silly we were. She’d had no idea. Luckily coz I would’ve killed her if she did. My friend’s solution to her feelings was to go drink whiskey that night and we stayed up till 4am talking about money management and general musician things (musicians always talk about their careers, you see).
My solution was to go running the next morning which I made us do despite the hangovers and we found a pretty flower park that made everything seem slightly better. We found out that day that L’Arpege has 3 of them Michelin star things.
The knife from that restaurant is still hiding in my sock drawer as my secret shame.
What do you fix for yourself, or where do you go to eat, when it’s just you on your own?
I make “Make-do special” when it’s just me because it’s a good way to try use all the food that need using and doesn’t matter if it doesn’t quite work out coz only you have to eat it. Usually it’s some kind of stir-fry or salad or hot-pot type thing, and usually it’s pretty good. Also at the moment it would incorporate something from my garden which is going nuts. Cooking something from my garden makes me feel like a real human in the world of nature.
What’s one of your favourite food memories from your childhood?
Our parents used to give us Pelion kalamata olives in our christmas stockings. I still love them. Have a can in my fridge right now in fact.
Thanks Anna Coddington! You rule.