Yep, that title will get my regular 'Enid Blyton Nude Tennis' searchers in a lather! Calm down the rest of you, it's a meme (as in stuff about Me-ME!) on food. It's probably a good thing I did this straight after dinner or I'd be inhaling a wheel of Brie wrapped in bacon that's been left simmering in a cauldron of melted Lindt right now.
1. Whats your #1 comfort food?
Do I have to say it after all this time? CHOCOLATE. There. You happy now?
Blocks, truffles, bars, coatings, chips, cakes, tarts, cheesecakes, pastries, biscuits, logs, creams, caramels, ganaches, frogs, scorched objects, organics, liqueurs.
2. If you were stranded on a desert island what 5 foods would you want to have with you to survive on?
I’m assuming that tropical fruits, coconuts and fish are freely available – well they are on my desert island. Apart from the most obvious (see question one), I’d also have to go with cheese (wouldn’t think I’d be able to find a cow there, let alone the capacity to make a brie), bacon (a change from seafood and coconuts would no doubt be nice), rice (to make sure there was some ‘filler’ if fish and fruit weren’t plentiful) and black pepper. Everything tastes better with pepper.
3. What are your signature dishes? (What dishes are you known for making?)
Chocolate Mousse. Pots au Chocolat. Sexual Chocolate. Triple Chocolate layered trifle.
And spaghetti bolognese.
4. It's Friday night, you don't know what to cook. You opt for?
If Love Chunks isn’t home and take-away isn’t an option, it’ll always be a One Pot. Pasta, risotto, stir-fry or a curry of some kind. ‘Lazy and basic’ is one way to describe my approach to cooking but I prefer ‘organised’ and ‘reducing the amount of cleaning to do afterwards’.
5. What's your ultimate food weakness?
Oh come ON – chocolate. I’ve got high cholesterol, I run like the clappers just to look slightly chubby instead of morbidly obese and I actually lie in bed fantasising about the stuff.
6. What food can you soooo not eat?
Pumpkin and sweet potato. Hate them and actually start gagging if someone plops a chunk of the roasted stuff on my plate. Broad beans are a close second – Dad used to grow them and Mum would boil them until they went all grey and wrinkly. “Grey and wrinkly” is not how you want ANY food to look. Or taste.
7. You need a drink, you grab a.....?
Glass of water, straight from the tap. Room temperature. Delicious.
Second – freshly ground coffee brewed by Love Chunks and his girlfriend Ms Krups
Third – three hand-squeezed oranges – and the pith – gulped down straight after a run
Fourth – icy cold Farmers Union Feel Good Iced Coffee
Fifth – Domaine Chandon champagne (if someone else is buying).
8. What's the most decadent dish you've ever had?
It was more of a meal than a specific dish. Back in 1997, restaurant-of-the-moment Radii was open at the Park Hyatt in Melbourne, and LC and I joined three mates for a ‘degustation’ meal that clearly needed its own vomitarium next to the table. It was too much, too rich, too buttery, too oily, too heavy, too decadent, too wasteful too too too...... Poor Ian ended up in hospital the next day and had his gall bladder removed – that ridiculous meal was the final straw.
9. What's your favourite type of food?
Home made. Mum’s ham and pearl barley soup and her just-out-of-the-oven cup cakes; Love Chunks’ roast chicken, linguine carbonara, moussaka and salt-and-pepper flathead (the fish, not his hairstyle); Dad’s lasagne; Jill’s hummingbird cake and breakfast of any kind cooked by LC and Sapphire together.
10. Favourite Dish?
Too hard to answer. Is there a meal that combines roast chicken skin, bacon, asparagus, brie, stilton, chocolate, iced coffee, fresh oranges, kalamata olives, smoked salmon, carrot sticks and wood oven bread together?
11. If your partner could take you to any restaurant, where would you go?
My tastes are simple, so I’d avoid the la-di-dah places that win the chefs hats and poncy reviewer accolades. Instead, I love going to Chinese noodle houses that look a bit daggy but are full of homesick students or Greek places full of families and corner cafes that do a roaring breakfast trade all day. Pretty well anywhere that I can wear my jeans and sneakers into and not stand out.
12. Soup or Salad?
Salad. Isn't soup just a hot salad? But no, salad it is, especially if it’s a ‘salad’ in name only but has lashings of blue cheese mayo, bacon pieces, parmesan shavings, croutons, olives, sun-dried tomatoes, char-grilled octopus or chicken that squashes the tomatoes and lettuce leaves.
13. Buffet, Take-Out or Sit-Down?
Sit down for socialising and take-away for hiding at home in my trakkie daks and ugg boots. Oh who am I kidding, ‘take-away’ – it’s always home delivery!
14. What's the most impressive meal you've ever made?
I did a pretty damn nice prawn and spinach risotto (from scratch) with dill (the herb, as well as my skill level) and lemon a few weeks ago that LC and Sapph were very impressed with. Still a One Pot though.
15. Do you consider yourself a good cook?
Only if Chopper REad considers himself a patient and gentle man, so Nope. Cooking is a chore, much the same as vacuuming up Milly’s hair off the red carpet, cleaning out the rabbit hutch or weeding without gloves. I love to eat but HATE having to stand at the fridge and think about what I have to do to what’s inside it to make it acceptable to plop on a plate.
16. Do you know what vichyssoise is?
Leek and potato soup or those silly 'poo catcher' pants made in silk that rustle when you walk to the bus stop?
17. Who's your favourite TV cook?
No-one stands out – they’re vaguely entertaining but I’ve never been inspired to cook anything I’ve seen demonstrated on the box. Jamie’s OK, but I don’t ‘get’ the sex appeal – the lisp, the Macaulay Culkin fish lips and the ‘loadsa herbs’ and ‘pukka’ is annoying, not attractive. Nigella’s fine too, but it’s more her way with words that’s seductive rather than her actual recipes. I love Masterchef as a tv series but have not wanted to cook anything that Gary Mehigan or George Calombaris have demonstrated – too fiddly and too fatty for me.
18. Can you name at least three famous cooking personalities?
Julia Child (love Meryl’s characterisation of her), Peter Russell Clarke (well, he used to ask “Where’s the cheese?” and end with a paedophilic giggle a lot in the eighties) and Keith Floyd – I loved the way the camera would fog up because Clive got in too close.
19. Homemade or homemade from a box?
Home made. Nothing out of a box fools anyone. And that goes for starlets' body parts too!
20. Tag three more foodies... Nah, I won’t because you all can do it if you like and let me know. Aren’t we all foodies, don’t we all need to eat?