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George Ezra: My life in food

Hertford-born singer-songwriter George Ezra discusses eating on tour, childhood meals and how he’s mastering the art of the roast potato

George Ezra: My life in food
Image: Rob Blackham

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Carbonara
What I like to do on tour is say, “Can you take me somewhere off the beaten track?” In Rome, we ended up in someone’s family house that had a restaurant in the back. You were shown menus, but you weren’t really allowed to order — they just brought out of the most phenomenal carbonara I’ve ever had.

Roast dinners
I like to cook by myself. I’m quite methodical; I like a recipe. If I’ve got an afternoon or evening to myself, I’ll pick what I’m going to eat, go to the shop and get the bits, and then prep it all. I get everything chopped just as it needs to be, in little bowls. I’ve been trying to perfect my roast — it’s actually just about timing. Each week my roast potatoes are better, so I’m hoping in a few years I’ll have a roast dinner worth shouting about.

Lentils
Both my parents are vegetarian, but they never made us be. It did mean, though, that growing up there were a lot of lentils and one-pot dishes. I was a big fan of their food, but I did used to eat bad hotdogs when I got the opportunity. There’s no food I don’t like but because I didn’t grow up with meat, I’m not a fan of having beef blue and all of that.

Macaroni cheese
As kids we were allowed to pick what we ate on our birthday and mine was always macaroni cheese. I don’t know if I picked it one year and then thought I needed to be on-brand the next… So whenever I have macaroni cheese it reminds me of birthdays.

Butter
The restaurant at Hotel Amour in Paris has the world’s best butter. It’s just full of salt. The rest of the food is beautiful, but before you even get round to looking at the mains you’re full to the brim with bread and that butter.

Herbal tea
I don’t eat anything for about three hours before performing, otherwise you just burp throughout your set. I do drink a Yogi Tea called Throat Comfort; you’re supposed to put two tea bags in one mug and cover it for seven minutes and it becomes like a syrup. • Ramen I’ve got two or three loyalty cards filled up for Kanada-Ya, a ramen place near Tottenham Court Road in London. It’s tiny, so you have to queue outside, but it’s amazing.

Sushi
You eat differently on tour, and a lot of that is down to necessity; you can’t cook for yourself. I’d never eaten sushi before I went on tour — you have to remember I’m not from a city — but in California, it was particularly good. Interview by Holly Williams.