i should tell you: flip grater

Welcome to the third installment of I Should Tell You, the still new-ish segment of my blog where I briefly interview musicians who are both really cool and also reply to my earnest emails, about food. This week it’s supercool Flip Grater, who I discovered years ago while reading an article where she talked about how she was collecting recipes while on tour and I thought: I’m going to like this lady. I own and love her Cookbook Tour cookbook but I’m not sure you can buy it around anymore – luckily there is a second one, The Cookbook Tour: Europe. And of course, her music: I recommend the lovely and cautionary Careful from her album While I’m Awake I’m At War, and This Road Leads Home from her debut, Cage For A Song.

(Flip Grater’s latest album While I’m Awake I’m At War, released on her own label Maiden Records)


And, say what? Flip’s on tour right now around New Zealand. Yay for us.

Feb 8th – Chicks, Dunedin
Feb 10th – Federal Diner, Wanaka
Feb 14th – The Old Library, Whangarei
Feb 15th – Sawmill, Leigh
Feb 16th – The Whiskey, Auckland


Thanks Flip Grater! The interview starts…now. (PS if you read the very first interview I did with Anna Coddington, there may be some, um, parallels between their answers to question one. Spoiler alert?)

Where’s somewhere you’ve eaten that you kinda like to brag about or drop into conversation? 

This is more embarrassing than impressive but I love to tell this story to see people’s faces. I was entertaining a certain vegetarian Kiwi singer-songwriter in Paris (who is far too horrified by this story to be named) and suggested we go to Alain Passard’s L’Arpege on the left bank. It’s a 3-star restaurant famous for its treatment of vegetables. Most famous places will cost around 100-150 Euros for a degustation, which is a heap of money but we wanted to splash out so we each took 150 Euros out of our fairly empty credit cards, dressed up and wandered down to the basement restaurant. The service was amazing. The food very, very good (although I wouldn’t say it was mind-blowing) and the final bill: almost 700 Euros! We both looked at each other silently contemplating running out but instead tearfully pulled out our credit cards and spent the rest of the week in shock and trying to figure out how I would pay my rent that month.


What do you fix for yourself, or where do you go to eat, when it’s just you on your own?

I’m a little obsessed with soups. I could (and do sometimes) eat soup for every meal. Especially happy noodles. Good Asian food is hard to find in Paris – especially vegetarian Asian, so when I discovered a great noodle soup joint called Happy Nouilles I started referring to all noodle soup dishes as ‘happy noodles.’ It takes me 5 minutes to make a bowl. I use flat rice noodles and make a super sour, super spicy broth with plenty of greens and herbs. If I need some extra happy I add homemade shiitake gyoza.

What’s one of your favourite food memories from your childhood?


Baked bean pizza with a layer of cheese you could peel off.

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