British comedian George Egg is a fanatical cook with a “somewhat anarchic” approach to making meals.
There are no kitchen rules, in fact there is no kitchen. All he needs to knock up a hot meal is an iron, a kettle, a trouser press and even a Gideon’s bible.
Therefore, he has become a master of a making meal from the facilities provided in a standard hotel room.
Egg is also the co-writer of a serious food blog called Mealmen.
He joins Kathryn Ryan from Auckland, where he will be taking part in the international comedy festival from the 3rd to 14th May
Read an edited snapshot of his conversation with Kathryn Ryan
KR: What did you have for breakfast? And how did you knock it up?
GE: For breakfast I had scrambled eggs on toast. The scrambled eggs were made in a kettle… I’m not going to give away all of the methods because I’ve got to tempt people into coming to the show, but suffice to say I used the kettle and they were the most delicious, creamy scrambled eggs you can imagine on a lovely bit of toasted Ciabatta.
KR: How did you come up with the idea of a three-course meal using the equipment provided in a hotel room?
GE: I’ve been doing stand-up for about 20 years and spending night after night in hotels. And it genuinely came from a mixture of wanting to not spend a fortune on overpriced room service, not wanting to eat unhealthily and a kind of post-show, adrenaline-fuelled desire to be a bit anarchic.
How does your average hotel respond to having to scrape bacon off its iron?
I am incredibly stealthful, and incredibly tidy, incredibly well brought up young man, and I’ll leave the room as I find it.
Which came first, the comedy or the food blog?
I’ve been really into cooking for decades, for as long as I’ve been into comedy, but I guess over the last few years the two combined… I’ve married the two. I think that’s why the show works so well, because people come away from it thinking ‘he really is passionate about that is something that he really loves, he hasn’t just come up with an idea and written a show around it, he’s doing something that he’s dedicated to,’ and I think that spark of interest comes across.
George Egg's recipe for Pasta Bianca
100g of strong white flour (About a teacup)
A sachet of salt (could be pinched from a café)
1 whole egg
1 egg yolk
First of all clean the flat work surfaces in the hotel room, which could be the sink area or a desk, using a damp flannel and the complimentary shampoo or shower gel.
Then make a well from the flour and the salt, crack an egg into it and knead it together until it’s nice and elastic.
Wrap it in a shower cap (there should be a complimentary one in the bathroom) and leave it to rest for 30 minutes in the mini bar fridge.
The take it out of the fridge and roll it out using a bottle of wine from the mini bar (like a rolling pin).
Cut it out into whatever pasta shape you like.
Bring the kettle to the boil – drop the pasta in, it will take one minute. Leave the lid up so it will stop the steam from triggering the cut-off mechanism.
When it is ready out the lid back on the kettle and pour the water out. It will act as a straining device and the pasta should stay in the kettle. But be careful as it might get out of the spout.
In a bowl mash together some garlic and butter and some seasoning.
Pour the pasta into the bowl and stir it around until it is nicely coated.
When it has cooled down add the single egg yolk, and mix it in.
Then add the parmesan cheese, which you can shave onto the pasta using a disposable razor.
Add any more seasoning if required.