Connect with us

Art of the Meal

Art of the Meal: The Fur Discusses His Life as a Foodie

How would you like to hear something appetizing? Check out The Fur’s new single “Forbidden Fruit” and our Art of The Meal interview about the musician’s life as a foodie.

Published

on

How would you like to hear something appetizing? The Fur is here to charm you and entice you with his brand new single “Forbidden Fruit,” his third proper single release. The song is a team-up between The Fur and singer and songwriter Julia Ross, known for her work with Everlife, and as a vocal arranger for Miley Cyrus, The Chainsmokers, Jordan Fisher, Ke$ha, and Carly Rae Jepsen.

“Forbidden Fruit” is a beautiful bit of dance-pop fusion, with a nice little synth hook. The song is successfully maintaining the momentum that The Fur got started with his debut single release “Americana” last June. In just the last eight months, he has really broadened his audience through collaborations with various songwriters and vocalists, becoming a well-known up-and-coming artist amongst the pop and EDM crowd. The Fur views his music as a powerful medium, capable of inspiring and uniting us all.

For today, we turned the topic slightly away from music to discuss something else very pleasing, food! For our latest Art of The Meal, we spoke with The Fur about being a foodie, his favourite food city, overcoming being a picky eater, and the strangest thing he’s ever eaten.

Do you follow a particular diet? 

The Fur: “I don’t, no. But there are certain things I stay away from, and I’m quite restrictive with sugar and alcohol. Sometimes.”

How does the food you eat on the road compare to what you eat in the studio?

“My travelling time tends to also be my social time, meaning I eat out a lot more when I’m on the road, and I also see friends much more when travelling. So, the food tends to be more expensive, less healthy, but usually more fun. I’m a real foodie, so I’m very conscious about what restaurants and cafés I go to. When I’m at home I cook every day and don’t go out as much. The kitchen is easily my favourite room in the house, with the bedroom as runner up.”

Do you prepare a lot of your own food? 

“I do. Basically everything. It’s a big part of my daily routine.”

Are any of your bandmates cooks? Or foodies? 

“Many of my friends (let’s call them bandmates for now…) are cooks, chefs, restaurant owners, baristas, wine importers, bartenders, coffee roasters, you name it…”

What are some of your favourite restaurants in your hometown?

“I honestly don’t go out that much in my own city, and of course, it’s been even less during the pandemic. But I’ve had some great meals at Woodstockholm, Matbaren, Ichi, and Matateljén lately.”

Do you have a favourite ‘food city’ when on tour? 

“Copenhagen is always amazing for a food lover (or life lover in general) as is any major city like Berlin or New York. But I have to say that I am especially proud of my old hometown Malmö, which has become a real food destination.”

What are some of the food items on your rider? 

“I don’t have a rider, but I usually have to tell people I don’t want cheese on my sandwiches, since it’s compulsory to put really bad cheese on everything in Sweden.”

If a fan were generous and to give you a food or drink-related gift, what should they give you? 

“Anything they’ve made themselves or harvested themselves would be very appreciated.”

Were any of your songs ever conceived at a bar or restaurant?

“Yes, I guess. But since silence is the best backdrop for creating sound or music, a restaurant or bar is hardly the best place.”

When was the last time you barbecued?

“In December, I think. I usually bring out the grill a few times during winter. It’s so comforting with the heat when you’re seeing friends outside in the cold of winter.”

Did you have to overcome being a picky eater? 

“Totally. I was extremely picky as a child and in my teens. My way of becoming more comfortable with eating this and that was to cook more myself. It’s a general life hack. If you’re scared or uncomfortable about something, dive into it and become an expert. Knowledge always drives away fear. Now I am picky in a different way; I find it very hard to eat food that is badly cooked or made from crappy ingredients. Sure, I eat junk every once in a while, just like anyone. But if you pay real money for food, it should be done with care and ambition.”

What is the “strangest” food you’ve ever tried and how are you with “less standard” foods?

“I’ve had lots of strange stuff over the years. Buying expensive water in plastic bottles that has been transported across the globe, when you have perfect and free tap water at home, that’s very strange. Or buying apples from New Zealand in your local store when the trees are full of fruit outside. Or eating cheap meat from animals that you know have been basically tortured their entire lives, that’s also very strange to me.

“Eating this or that odd part of an animal, or trying this or that weed is not strange, it’s totally normal. And it’s something people have always done, out of necessity or because it’s delicious. I did eat the brain of a duck out of its own head once though, that was pretty full-on. It was already dead though.”

Artwork for the album ‘Forbidden Fruit’ by The Fur

Which toppings go on your ideal pizza?

“Hawaiian has been my favourite since forever (tomato, cheese, ham, and pineapple). And I was so happy when I heard that they always made Hawaiian pizzas for staff meals at Fäviken (one of the leading restaurants of the world), because it is, quote, ‘the best pizza.’ A new local favourite is the pizza with pancetta, apricots, vanilla, and chili from local pizza wizards at Omnipollos hatt. It’s to die for.”

When did you first get interested in cooking?

“As with most deep and genuine interests, it starts early. I didn’t start cooking until my mid-20s. But the interest definitely came from being surrounded by great food and great home cooks in my childhood.”

Do you have a favourite chef? 

“There are so many! Magnus Nilsson, Thomas Keller, Andreas Dahlberg, Saori Ichihara, Wade Brown, Francis Mallmann…”

What sort of cooking set-up do you have at home?

“It’s very standard. As with music production, it’s not about the gadgets for me. Use your palate/ears and your knowledge.”

Have you ever owned a George Foreman grill? 

“I don’t know what that is.”

What is your favourite fast-food chain restaurant? 

“There isn’t one, I avoid chains. Why support a giant international mega business whose main idea is to trick you into eating crap, when there are so many local, ambitious, creative people fighting to survive and who want to bring you real food?”

How do you usually get your groceries? In-store? Online delivery?

“I’ve never bought food online. I try to buy from good food stores, harvest it myself, or buy from people I know.”

Born in 2003, V13 was a socio-political website that, in 2005, morphed into PureGrainAudio and spent 15 years developing into one of Canada's (and the world’s) leading music sites. On the eve of the site’s 15th anniversary, a full re-launch and rebrand takes us back to our roots and opens the door to a full suite of Music, Film, TV, and Cultural content.

Art of the Meal

Art of The Meal: Tim Qualls Discusses How Food Plays a Role in Family Life

Tim Qualls recent singles “Forever” and “Grave” give insight into his unapologetic style that he emulates in both his music and as a foodie.

Published

on

Tim Qualls, photo by Kirby Betancourt
Tim Qualls, photo by Kirby Betancourt

Best known for his rootsy soul music that is grounded in family, heartache, and a positive outlook on life very few write about, Houston artist Tim Qualls is also a self-proclaimed foodie. With his productions drawing comparisons to Adele, Sam Smith, and Ryan Tedder and landing on coveted Spotify playlists (including “Dinner Music” – foresight perhaps?), his recent singles “Forever” and “Grave” showcase his organic, unapologetic style that’s not afraid to take risks, blend genres, and create something uniquely his own.

According to Tim, he approaches his music the same way he approaches the kitchen – unapologetically taking risks, blending cultures, and trying new concoctions to create something completely original. We sat down with Tim to discuss his favourite foods and the craziest dishes he’s experienced and dive deeper into how creating in the kitchen is interwoven into his family lifestyle.

What’s your favourite type of food (i.e… Korean, Italian, comfort, fine dining, etc.?)

Tim Qualls: “ASIAN! I’m half white, half Asian (Indonesian/Chinese). So I was raised on Indonesian food which is world renown. And it’s about as big as a food can be to me and my family. We cook Indo food, and use Indo flavors in everything we cook. The only Asian food I’m not heavy into is PHO. So I probably eat Asian( Indo, sushi, Asian sauces or meat) 2 times a week if not more.”

What’s the most expensive dish or meal you’ve ever had?

“My wife and I once went to a Perry’s Steak House to celebrate an occasion and we went last minute so we had to wait for a table for like 45 minutes. In the lobby, they had a meat window showing A5 JAPANESE WAYGU. So for 45 minutes I hungrily stared at this meat. So by the time we got to ordering my eyes were bigger than my stomach, so my wife and I BOTH ordered like 6-8 Ounces of WAYGU, and forgot to even look at the price. We ended up only being able to eat like 4 ounces each. (Best left overs I’ve ever had) The final check was like $1500 or something insane. Luckily we had the money, and moral of the story is, reserve your table ahead of time so you don’t get stuck looking at the Meat display!”

Photo of Tim Qualls with mom, Gladys, in the kitchen

Photo of Tim Qualls with mom, Gladys, in the kitchen

Growing up, what were your experiences of food and eating? Did you cook a lot as a kid, or mostly watch? Are there specific memories of eating growing up that stand out to you (that you feel comfortable sharing)?

“Oh yea. Before I was born my parents owned a restaurant in Amsterdam, cooking American food. So we grew up helping and cooking everywhere. My dad also had a side business once he retired, cooking brisket as well. So no matter the occasion we were cooking SOMETHING. They also, later had a food truck of their own doing a little bit of everything that they would have at their local farmers market, and I have lots of memories cooking in there. My dad at some point acquires a brisket cooker that, if you chose to, could cook like 50+ briskets at one time.

“The memories are just countless examples of making brisket outside, or shopping at Asian markets with my mom. Usually cooking is an all day thing, so hanging out, talking, and laughing is what the day ends up being all about. It’s my number 1 thing I love to do with my mom, is cook something together. And it’s one of the things my kids now are learning to fall in love with as well. I’m lucky to get to share that stuff with them now, and have my mom do the same with them.”

What would you like your last meal to be?

“Some sort of comfort food. Probably Indonesian Rice or noodles, with some hot chili sauce, onions, and a couple runny eggs on top.”

What’s your go-to dish that never fails?

“I actually make a pretty mean Asian glazed Salmon that hits any time of the week, plus is super healthy. I’ve perfected it over the years, but the spices have evolved and sometimes its on the pan, sometimes in the oven, and if we are in a rush, in the air fryer. (BTW, air fryers are LIFE).”

What’s your least favourite dish that everyone else seems to love?

“Thanksgiving/ Christmas Turkey or Ham. I’d rather eat the sides honestly. Or Tamales or something with real flavor. Every year I’m scouring the Internet for different recipes that will make those dinners unique and more special than just some generic turkey or Ham.”

Do you prepare a lot of your own food?

“Oh yea. I do all the cooking in my house. Sunday mornings are for weekly prep and grocery shopping. My wife and I are super busy within our respective careers, so if I don’t lead the week food wise, we end up ordering food or eating unhealthy. So, for me, one of the best ways to serve my family right, is to be the first one up and lead the house food wise. PLUS, I love cooking. So for me and for my family it’s a win/win.”

Photo of Tim's son with self-decorated cake

Photo of Tim’s son with self-decorated cake

What is the “strangest” food you’ve ever tried and how are you with “less standard” foods?

“I was on a trip in Zimbabwe once, and at the hotel buffet they were serving some sort of meal worms. Like directly next to the green beans. And we tried it, but I wouldn’t recommend it!

“Also, one time we were on a cruise , and we were in St Marteen. And we had extra time to kill, so we asked our guide what the local delicacy was. His answer. IGUANA. So he took us to this hut on the side of the road. It looked like a place where a hurricane had been and knocked down everything but the kitchen. And boom out of the kitchen came a freshly killed and cooked, whole IGUANA, served with rice, beans, and plantains.

“Now to clarify, my wife and our friends ate it and I didn’t. I just ate the SIDES. But, as you can imagine it went about exactly as you thought it would. Less standard? I try to be healthy, but let’s be honest, some of the best food is food truck ANYTHING, OR the nearest burger place. I am down with that life any time of day.”

That is your favorite fast food chain restaurant?

“Top 3 right now, mainly cause of easiness for my kids, Chick Fil A, Chipotle, In and Out. Something that I can have something taste good, and keep my family sane until the drive home.”

How do you usually get your groceries? In-store? Online delivery? From where?

“I get up early on Sundays to do the shopping for the week for the family. I usually hit H-E-B, for 95% of the stuff, then for anything FANCY, I have a Whole Foods down the road.”

Continue Reading

Art of the Meal

Art of the Meal: A Permanent Shadow’s CP Fletcher Discusses His Favourites as an International Foodie

With our ears perked to his new music, we sat down for an Art of The Meal interview with artist and international foodie, A Permanent Shadow’s CP Fletcher.

Published

on

CP Fletcher of A Permanent Shadow

CP Fletcher, the frontrunner and only fixture of the band A Permanent Shadow is an emerging alternative indie artist in the vein of Depeche Mode, David Bowie, Iggy Pop, and other ’80s indie-pop icons. Surrounding himself with a rotating cast of musicians and producers, Fletcher works with various collaborators to bring his creations to life, resulting in an ever-changing soundscape that embodies the ebbs and flows of life itself.

His newest single, “Number One Fan,” channels Joni Mitchell’s “Big Yellow Taxi” and dives into themes related to toxic relationships, such as loyalty, regret, remorse, and more. The song fuses modern pop with sonic elements from eighties electronic music as a catchy yet melancholic ode to loyalty and unconditional support.

With our ears perked to his new music, we sat down to chat with CP Fletcher about his interests outside of music…. namely, his interests in food. Read below to hear his take on favourite foods, chefs, foods he hates, and how his international lifestyle plays a role in his preferences.

What’s your favourite type of food?

CP Fletcher: “Having lived in Spain for the past 25 years, I’ve come to love Mediterranean cuisine, especially tapas and seafood. But when push comes to shove, I enjoy nothing more than a good plate of spaghetti. I’d say Italian food is my true love.”

What’s your favourite dish?

“Pasta with tuna and olives in tomato sauce and lots of cheese. Sounds very simple, but I can assure you that it’s not that easy to pull off satisfactorily!”

What is the most important tool in your kitchen?

“It pains me to admit that it’s the microwave. I’m a really bad cook, and apart from the above-mentioned spaghetti, I’m not really able to prepare many dishes. So I eat out a lot or rely on ready-made meals.”

What dietary restrictions do you have?

“Luckily, I’m blessed with quite a robust stomach. That said, last year, I suffered from COVID and it attacked my intestines more than anything else, so I’ve had to cut back on coffee and spicy food a bit.”

Who’s your favourite chef?

“I liked Gordon Ramsey’s show; he used to make me laugh a lot. He’s so rude and in your face that sometimes you’d just go, ‘Did he really just say that?’ I also liked Anthony Bourdain; he had a great Rock and Roll vibe and was friends with people like Iggy Pop, Mark Lanegan and Josh Homme, so he must have been a pretty cool guy, albeit quite a troubled soul.”

What is lacking in the world of food?

“I honestly believe there’s too much-processed food. If you bother to buy your veggies from a farmer and not in the supermarket, you’ll immediately notice the difference. Processed food all tends to taste the same. It’s like processed music which all ends up sounding the same. So I’d say the world of food is currently lacking a more direct and less expensive access to unprocessed products.”

There’s one type of food you can wipe from existence: what’s your pick?

“There is an Italian restaurant in Luxembourg which has a huge sign on its door that says ‘We don’t serve pizza with pineapple.’ Right on! Whoever came up with the initial idea to put pineapple on a pizza should posthumously be put on trial. Pizza Hawaii is a big no-no.”

Do you follow a particular diet?

“Not really. I am not a huge fan of fruit, apart from an apple here and there, so there’s not much fruit in my diet. Other than that, I eat almost everything. I even indulge in junk food from time to time – burgers, kebabs and the like – but I try to keep the junk intake to once or twice a month.”

What’s the most expensive dish or meal you’ve ever had? Describe the experience.

“I once had dinner at Robert de Niro’s Tribeca restaurant in NYC. To be honest with you, I can’t remember what I had, but I remember that the bill was impressive. Fortunately, someone else took care of it!”

Do you prepare a lot of your own food?

“I live in a very lively area in Barcelona with lots of affordable restaurants of different nationalities, from Mexican to Vietnamese, Japanese, Italian and, of course, local food. I hardly prepare my own food, apart from easy dishes like spaghetti, veggie soup, sausages, burgers, or pawn rice. Everything else I rather leave to the professionals in my barrio!”

CP Fletcher of A Permanent Shadow, photo by Rachel Summer assisted by Ali Huxman

CP Fletcher of A Permanent Shadow, photo by Rachel Summer assisted by Ali Huxman

Continue Reading

Art of the Meal

Art of the Meal: zensei ゼンセー Discusses the Joys and Pleasures of Food and Eating

Putting aside his awesome new album, ‘destination heartbreak,’ zensei ゼンセー joins us for an Art of the Meal interview highlighting his love for sushi, eating ox tongue, and hometown Vancouver restaurants.

Published

on

zensei ゼンセー

It’s never easy to have your heart broken, but if it happens, why not turn it into something positive, as zensei ゼンセー has done with his latest EP? Released in February via Monstercat, destination heartbreak pt. 2 is a three-song instrumental conception of the producer and multi-instrumentalist’s previous experiences with heartbreak, how it affected him, and how he put himself back together after it. It’s the follow-up to destination heartbreak pt. 1, released last November, and it is the prelude to the destination heartbreak full-length LP, which just dropped on April 11th! destination heartbreak pt. 2 takes on a sad tone but an expressive and revealing one, describing a moment in his life that from which he has taken great lessons.

The destination heartbreak full-length is one of zensei ゼンセー’s (ZEN-say) most ambitious projects yet, with the recording process consisting of him engaging again with old files, photos, and samples of his to draw on and use as inspiration. It was a real trip down memory lane, with each memory feeling authentic and conjuring up a set of emotions that took him back to the exact moments when he experienced these memories.

We put emotions and memories aside for today to discuss zensei ゼンセー’s favourite and least favourite foods, top hometown restaurants in Vancouver, and much more for our latest Art of the Meal.

What’s your favourite type of food (i.e. Korean, Italian, comfort, fine dining, etc.?)

zensei: “Sushi! I’ve once ate sushi 30 days straight. Ten out of ten would do again.”

What’s your favourite dish?

“Hamachi maki with a touch of soy sauce.”

Growing up, what were your experiences with food and eating? Did you cook a lot as a kid, or mostly watch? Are there specific memories of eating growing up that stand out to you (that you feel comfortable sharing)?

“I remember at a young age; my aunt taught me how to make the best rice possible. Washing all the starch off by squeezing it in water, discarding the starchy water and do it over and over till the water ran clear. We ate rice for every meal growing up, so this was really important to us! To this day, I still cook rice the same way.”

What is the most important tool in your kitchen?

“The microwave! Can’t live without it.”

What dietary restrictions do you have (that you feel comfortable sharing)?

“I’m deathly allergic to raw edamame. So I have no idea what that tastes like. I always wondered!”

What’s the hardest dish you’ve ever attempted to make? Did you pull it off?

“The kichi kichi omurice. I practiced how to make that egg every single day, took about two months to perfect.”

What’s the most expensive dish or meal you’ve ever had?

“Had to be omakase at our favourite restaurant. We spent around 300 dollars each. It was a 14-piece meal, and every bite was heaven. I didn’t even know what half of the dishes were, but my jaw dropped on every one. Most expensive piece was probably the Japanese a5 wagyu plate.”

If you only had ten bucks for a meal, how would you spend it for the best possible meal available to you right now?

“Rice made with konbu, sugar, mirin, rice wine seaweed, sesame, and a fat piece of Unagi on top.”

What was the best dining experience you’ve ever enjoyed?

“Omakase at Sushi Bar Maumi!”

What would you like your last meal to be?

“I would want to bring it back to my childhood. My sister and I would always cook instant noodles when our parents were not around, and it felt like a forbidden treat. So probably a pack of our favourite instant noodles (indomi by mi goreng).”

What’s your guilty pleasure? We’re talking the trashiest or most unhealthy pick here.

“Plain white bread with cheese and mayonnaise. Absolutely delicious!”

Who’s your favourite chef?

“I have worked in three different sushi restaurants, and every chef has talked about the legend Masa Takayama. I have yet to try any of his food, but I watch all his videos!”

What’s your favourite cooking show?

“Not really a cooking show, but more of a vlogger that cooks a lot. Doobydobap! She makes everything look so simple yet delicious!”

zensei ゼンセー ‘destination:heartbreak pt. 2’ EP album artwork

zensei ゼンセー ‘destination:heartbreak pt. 2’ EP album artwork

What restaurant is everyone sleeping on right now?

Sushi By Yuji in Vancouver! I feel like not a lot of people know about it. One of my favourites.”

What’s your go-to dish that never fails?

“My carbonara, super easy to make. Crowd pleaser!”

What’s your go-to dish that never ceases to amaze?

“Omurice. I have yet to have a negative reaction, so I think it’s pretty good!”

What’s your least favourite dish that everyone else seems to love?

“Salad rolls with Mint in it. Yuckkkkkk!”

What’s your most controversial opinion on food?

“Wasabi, mint, and basil make me gag!”

What is lacking in the world of food?

“Food that are both delicious AND healthy. Feel like it’s so limited to chicken/turkey and veggies. We need something that is 10/10 in taste and 10/10 in health!”

There’s one type of food you can wipe from existence: what’s your pick?

“Mint or basil. I hate it! I HATE IT.”

Do you follow a particular diet?

“I try to stay away from red meat as much as I can since I have a liver disease. But I have it during celebrations (i.e. birthdays, New Years, milestones, weddings, etc.).”

How does the food you eat on the road compare to what you eat when in the studio or not working?

“When I’m on the road, I want to try what is best locally. Always open to try new restaurants while I’m there! At home, I’m pretty boring. Most days I just eat rice with some sort of meat dish.”

Do you prepare a lot of your own food?

“Yes, I meal prep most of the time! I cook Monday for the weekdays. And prepare nicer meals for the weekend.”

What are some of your favourite restaurants in your hometown?

Kishimoto Sushi, Taishoken Ramen, Merci Beaucoup, Sushi Bar Maumi, Lupo, Robba da Matti, Pho Duy, HK BBQ Master, just to name a few!”

Do you have a favourite “food city” when on tour?

“Los Angeles! I love Burgers Never Say Die.”

What are some of the food items on your rider?

“Sucker for a good meat and cheese platter.”

If a fan were generous and to give you a food or drink-related gift, what should they get you?

“Wagyu beef, yum!”

Were any of your songs ever conceived at a bar or restaurant?

“No, but never say never! Maybe I’ll name one after a restaurant!”

When was the last time you barbequed?

“Before COVID, so probably four years ago!”

What is your go-to meal when headed to a barbecue?

“I love wings!”

Did you have to overcome being a picky eater, and if so, when/how was it?

“Yes, how did you know? I used to only eat rice and fatty red meat. And never drank water, only soda. It was hard at first. I was diagnosed with a liver disease at a young age and had to change my whole life around that. But now I enjoy almost all foods.”

What is the “strangest” food you’ve ever tried, and how are you with “less standard” foods?

“I’ve had ox tongue; it was really delicious. I’ll try anything once! But I wouldn’t have it again if I didn’t like it.”

Which toppings go on your ideal pizza?

“Cheese and pepperoni. My favourite.”

Do you have a favourite chef?

Masa Takayama.”

What sort of cooking setup do you have at home?

“Sous-vide machine, air fryer, toaster oven pressure cooker, and everything else standard!”

Have you ever owned a George Foreman Grill? Where is it now?

“No, never! But not going to lie, I really want one.”

What is your favourite fast-food chain restaurant?

McDonald’s, I’m a sucker for their McDouble (secret is to add big mac sauce).”

How do you usually get your groceries? In-store? Online delivery? From where?

T&T, Costco, my local butcher and Fujiya…”

Continue Reading

Trending