Kitchen chow down with top chefs of the Big Day Out

By Nici Wickes

Chefs of the Big Day Out’s Chow Town food section talk moshing, meatballs and music.

Between acts, fans at the Big Day Out 2014 will be flocking to Chow Town, a new food section where Auckland's star chefs will be rocking the pans. Nici Wickes grilled the chefs about their offerings and the meaning of music.


CHE BARRINGTON, The Blue Breeze Inn

"My very first Big Day Out was in 1994. Some of my favourite bands played - Soundgarden, Straitjacket Fits, Loves Ugly Children, the Breeders. It must have been one of the hottest BDOs weather-wise as well. A friend from London, who works for a record label, got all-access passes so we got to hang out in the private rooms with air-con. Saved my life."

The food you'll be serving?
If it's the Big Day Out, you'd better be making food people can dance with. Our Blue Breeze barbecue pork buns will be a star of the show - crispy barbecued pork, loads of fresh coriander and hoisin sauce, in a sweet and fluffy bun you can hold on to.

The music in your kitchen?
This morning it was Pixies, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Toots and the Maytals, and 13th Floor Elevators. During service, we embrace our Pacifica - stuff like Koauka's Could You Be Loved, or Ekolu Kalama's Kaunakakai. Bevan Keys is one of our live DJs, and he's always cranking out amazing tunes.

Your food is most like. . .
Sleigh Bells from Brooklyn. They met in a restaurant. Their sound is all about dreamy vocals, hard-edged guitar riffs and pop hooks. I'd like to think my food sort of does the same thing to your taste buds. You always want to surprise people a little.


KYLE STREET, Federal Delicatessen

"This will be my seventh BDO. My favourite memory has to be 2005. Slipknot were all the rage, and my dad had brought my younger sister to BDO for her first time. Feeling confident, he joined me deep in the mosh, and within minutes had to call it quits, while me and my friends raged on.

The food you'll be serving?
A couple of our fast and delicious offerings from The Fed - our famous New York City cheesecake for one.

The music in your kitchen?
We get to share the same music as the customers - a mix of funk, soul and upbeat country, and there's more than a few songs that get the kitchen groovin'.

Your food is most like. . .
Meatloaf - big, bold, timeless and packs a flavour punch.


BEN BAYLY, Baduzzi

"I've been to the BDO a few times. The best year for me was seeing the Prodigy and Soundgarden in 1998. I was very young. We muscled up to the front rail and claimed our turf and we didn't move for four hours. Crowd surfing was still allowed - mean!

The food you'll be serving?
Spit-roasted pigs, wagyu meatball grinders, strawberry and peach icecream sundaes.

The music in your kitchen?
Faithless are a favourite. Love the old school British electronica.

Your food is most like. . .
I asked the chefs at The Grove and they said Erik Satie mixed with Shapeshifter. French classic meets modern New Zealand.

You'd most like to cook for...
I always loved the lyrical genius of Notorious B.I.G - the way he was able to articulate his life through rap was amazing to me. I bet you he would eat all the crayfish, too.


JAVIER CARMONA, Mexico

"This will be my first BDO and I'm looking forward to it all, working alongside great chefs, good food, up-for-it crowd, great music.

The food you'll be serving?
Street food with a kick.

The music in your kitchen?
The Pretty in Pink soundtrack, turned up loud!

Your food is most like. . .
The Proclaimers. I also wear glasses.

Are chefs the new rock stars?
I can play the recorder!


SAM CAMPBELL, Orleans

"My best memory of a BDO was 2005's with the Chemical Brothers."

The food you'll be serving?
Smoked beef brisket po' boys, blackened chicken and slaw, and a sweet pie.

The music in your kitchen?
Funk, hip-hop, house.

Your food is most like. . .
OutKast . . . "so fresh and so clean".

You'd most like to cook for...
Snoop Dogg. I'd make him chicken waffles.


NIC WATT, Masu

"This will be my first BDO and I'm looking forward to cooking with Pearl Jam playing in the background. That will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience."

The food you'll be serving?
Masu-inspired robata barbecue dishes.

The music in your kitchen?
Either party or romantic as I am a hopeless romantic at times.

Your food is most like. . .
Mumford & Sons, as I love the raw instrumentals and vocals. They play stripped back music that allows the instruments and individuals to stand out. My food is also stripped back to the key raw ingredients so it sings for itself.

Are chefs the new rock stars?
Kitchens are full of misfits brought together by a common passion for flavour. I guess rock stars are brought together with a common passion for music.

You'd most like to cook for...
I'd like to party with the guys from Train, so I guess a full English breakfast after an all-nighter.


• The Big Day Out, Auckland, is on Jan 17, 2014. Tickets from bigdayout.com.


- VIVA

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