i should tell you: Jan Hellriegel

Well hello there, and welcome to the fifth installment of I Should Tell You. Every Friday I ask three short food-related questions of a cool musician who will answer my enthusiastic emails. Just to see what happens!

This week I am so happy to be interviewing Jan Hellriegel. She has been in what I (and…nearly everyone) call The Industry for a long time. And yet though I’ve always been aware of her music – to the point where I distinctly remember years ago, being a young intern and impressing a somewhat older member of staff simply by knowing who she was, what? –  it’s only relatively recently that I’ve been listening to it properly. And it is excellent. If you’re new to her stuff, I am sincerely obsessed with her 1995 song Pure Pleasure. It belongs in the canon of songs that I can and will listen to twelve times in a row without them losing their lustre. If anything: ever more lustre with every listen. I also recommend 2×2 from her recent album All Grown Up and It’s My Sin from her 1993 album of the same name. 

Jan is touring the North Island with Greg Johnson and some others in March – details here.  

Thanks, Jan! Here is the interview…here. 

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

When I was recording my first album It’s My Sin with American producer J.D Souther at Airforce Studios he had food brought in from The French Café every day. I don’t know if they would do this now. It was brilliantly decadent and I was convinced my life as a recording artist would from then on would be a never ending parade of gourmet cuisine …boy was I wrong. Parkside Café in Mt Albert is a recent discovery I’m sharing. Such a wonderful surprise – by day a regular suburban Eggs Benne-style café, but at night, the most delicious and authentic Vietnamese in Auckland.

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

I am rarely on my own but when I am it’s sardines on toast. That ensures I will be remain on my own for a few hours. I can only remember eating alone at a café once in the last few years and that was Selera in Newmarket, Auckland near where I work  – they make the best laksa ever and I just had to sit down and have one for lunch one day recently.

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

My Dad makes the best tripe and onions ever. When I was a student or feeling a little down in my 20s – I would ask him to cook some for me.  For many it may be chocolate  or ice-cream but for me, comfort food is Tripe and Onions.  Because life is pretty  sweet these days I haven’t indulged for a really long time. My fiancé promised to learn how to make it for me –  I am still waiting. 

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