Most people knew about celebrity chef Graham Elliot's love of all things rock and roll. But in an appearance on the podcast Food is the New Rock, Elliot expands on that, and many more, in quite the illuminating interview.
On the correlation between food and rock, Elliot opines on "the hipsterization of food," saying "all chefs are failed guitarists." He says of the trend of rock star chefs "now to be a chef it feels like you have to wear the dishwasher T-shirt and have sleeve tattoos of weird food ingredients. It's literally a look you have to go into, no different then the glam rock scene. As soon as John Mayer gets a sleeve tattoo I want to cut my arms off. Is nothing sacred?"
The hosts ask Elliot what Chicago restaurants he recommends to visiting musicians and he mentions Avec, Yusho, Longman & Eagle, The Purple Pig, and Blackbird. When they ask him about casual spots, he says "Chicago food is based on how fat you can get off eating it" before naming Al's Beef and Windy City Gyros.
On his nomadic youth as an counterculture kid, Elliot reveals that he spent three months in a mental hospital when he was 17 and attended three high schools, starting in Hawaii. "I was the kid who wanted to start my own religion," he says. "Sophomore year I wanted to live off the land and fight the system."
He dishes on Gordon Ramsay's secret love of ABBA, saying "So we go into his room and the radio is on and I swear to god it's always ABBA. So I bought Joe (Bastianich) a huge Led Zeppelin poster for his room, and our producer a huge "meat is murder" poster because he's vegetarian and from Manchester, and I have a humungous James Brown poster. And then I got Gordon a big Abba poster that hangs in his room."
Other topics include an all-Chicago lineup at Lollapalooza Chow Town, the lobster corn dog, a special menu he made for Morrissey, and more. Listen to the full interview here.
· All Graham Elliot Coverage [~ECHI~]
· Food is the New Rock [Official Site]