Article Title:GALS Concert: food, glorious food!
Author or Credit:David Parrish
Published on:18th June 2006 - 12:00 pm
Story ID:1303
Text:Foodies will be left salivating over the new concert, ‘A La Carte', a real taste bud-teaser being performed by Auckland's Gay and Lesbian Singers (GALS) this weekend (Saturday June 24 and Sunday 25). And audience members won't walk away with grumbling tummies, after having their fill of foodie tunes and copious amounts of chocolate cake – as all time-favourites such as ‘Tea For Two', ‘Sugartime' and ‘Days of Wine and Roses' share the stage with GALS' first ever chocolate cake competition. So why a concert about food? Food can be both pleasure and torment, we all have our favourites, our pet hates, and our old faithful dishes. Each of us relates to food so differently that we asked some guys and gals from GALS tell us what gets their salivary glands pumping and their taste buds singing. Kurt Payne, at 23 years old one of GALS' youngest members, is a “tall slim blonde tenor in the back row” who believes that food “nourishes not only your physical body but your soul and spirit as well.” Payne admits to spending too much time in the kitchen and can't stand anything “artificial, filled with chemicals or with all the good stuff taken out.” His ultimate meal is Donna Hay potato and basil soup, his own garlic bruschetta, Antonio Callucio-inspired pasta with bell peppers and capers, lamb, sausage, panacotta, Danish blue cheese and, well, he goes on and on… Payne has won cooking competitions, and his ideal romantic meal for two would involve seven courses and four rooms of the house! Payne takes his grub pretty seriously. Stephen Bowness, 40, is a busy man. He's the Musical Director for GALS, an American Football referee and has a serious suit-and-tie kind of job. “I cook to survive,” he confesses. “I love chocolate and most food that other, capable people prepare.” He talks fondly of chocolate. If he ended up in prison, he'd want... chocolate! His fondest childhood memories include chocolate, and chocolate biscuits are his snack of choice to satisfy his nocturnal cravings. Easy to please, is Bowness. Chocolate. Great food involving impossible magazine recipes with overpriced and hard to get ingredients are the kind of fare that tempts Jan Suckling, GALS' Marketing Manager. A self-confessed “foodie”, Suckling loves recipe books, Cuisine magazine, and actually makes some of those impossible recipes. “I am very good at making pastry,” she declares. “The trouble is when someone makes food, someone has to eat it and I am always the first in line.” For this outgoing public servant with her own Nigella-style culinary website, romance is veal and tiramisu, broccoli on the side, and a few glasses of Mt Difficulty pinot noir. Second tenor Jan Wuis, 54, originally from Amsterdam is a food technologist. His relationship with food is “decidedly two-sided.” He's interested in “food safety, food composition, nutrition and industrial processing,” so Wuis knows exactly what he's eating. On the whole, his ideal menu to charm his significant other is a wholesome affair. Home-made cheese biscuits, fresh leafy salad from the vege garden, roast capsicum, fresh pasta with a homemade tomato sauce, mushrooms and a “fruity dish like baked apples with tamarillo, or pears stewed in red wine, with a little fresh cream.” A vegetarian it seems? Wuis worked as a short-order cook in an “industrial café.” Sounds charming! “I had to grill hundreds of bloody steaks. Steak and chips over and over… it put me off meat in a big way!” But this foodie-scientist admits he'd happily sneak chocolate biscuits at night. “That's why I never buy them,” he states… quite firmly. All four recall the simple satisfactions of the food of childhood, the tastes that never go away. Bowness loved his mum's apple crumble and custard. Suckling recalls pancakes with lemon and sugar on Sunday nights. And Wuis' mother, now 86, still turns out “the best Dutch apple pie.” Payne's memory is a tad more complex – his mum's best friend made him and his brother “pancakes that she would cut out with a gingerbread man cutter then put pebbles down the front to look like buttons,” he explains. “Sadly I grew up and moved away, so I have to have gin now instead.” So what has all of this got to do with music? Not a lot, really, except that music has a lot to do with enjoying life, and life has quite a lot to do with food! And quite a few songs have been written to honour the stuff that keeps our energy up, regularly brings people together to enjoy each other's company, and will even intoxicate our senses if we allow it. GALS' ‘A La Carte' concerts this weekend will take us through muso-foodie heaven, with tributes to chocolate, wine, pizza and coffee. The ‘Caffeine Overload Polka' takes the piss out of coffee addicts – it's a favourite of the singers, “seriously funny and a very clever arrangement.” ‘Scarborough Fair' promises a more “haunting, persistent and rhythmic” tone, adding “richness and drama” to the show, and yes, it's also about food. So eat before you arrive but save room for desert. There'll be chocolate cake aplenty and hours of frivolous fun to be had. Food is life, music is life and GALS' menu is ‘A La Carte'. GALS – A La Carte June 24 and 25 5.30pm Centennial Theatre, Auckland Grammar, Mountain Road, Epsom. Prepaid tickets $20 (email or $25 at the door. David Parrish - 18th June 2006    
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