Eyre, David (3 of 10). Food: From Source to Salespoint

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  • Subjects

    Chefs; Restaurateurs; European cuisine

  • Recording date

    2011-03-18, 2011-03-30, 2011-06-21, 2011-09-28

  • Recording locations

    British Library, London

  • Interviewees

    Eyre, David, 1961- (speaker, male)

  • Interviewers

    Dillon, Niamh (speaker, female)

  • Abstract

    Part 3: [Section closed (muted) 00:00:00 – 00:00:18] Talks about his early food memories and how he appreciated food at home because of spending nine months at boarding school: describes breakfast at home, mentions his father planting citrus trees. [00:03:44] Briefly describes lunch and dinner, Sunday lunches; his mother regularly made meat curries for Sunday. [00:6:46] Memories of his mother making ice cream – how his mother makes the best steak and kidney pie, Swiss steak. [00:09:41] His mother’s home-made pepper sauce – talks about West Indian cuisine particularly Guiana, Mozambique prawns. [00:12:00] Visiting the company town and buying prawns – anecdote about cooking the prawns on the car radiator grille. [00:17:51] Describes his father rearing and killing pigs: DE holding the jar with the pigs’ blood, helping making sausages, [0:21:45] his mother salting hams. [00:23:22] The Portuguese families on the estate who made their own chorizo – DE visiting northern Portugal and seeing pigs being killed and made into chorizo. [00:25:23] DE explains why his family enjoyed Portuguese food, their use of spice in cooking. [00:27:51] DE describes his childhood home in Mozambique, remembers their dining room, [00:30:12] their crockery that was Midwinter, and cutlery, DE serviette ring and tablemats. [00:34:18] Talks about their house servants and where they ate. [00:35:19] DE explains what the family drank – soft drinks he remembers. [00:40:11] His attitude to vegetables as a child – children’s dislike of brassica. [00:44:06] Eating hot molasses, eating cassava and yams. DE awareness of the food his was eating coming from different culinary traditions (West Indian, British, Portuguese) discusses the African diet. [00:51:54] DE remembers going to school for the first time in Rhodesia, Lilfordia. [00:54:34] DE was ‘keen and bright” at school, food at boarding school – discusses the options for school – describes the journey to school and how arduous it could be. [01:00:] Talks about the Portuguese in Mozambique – DE awareness of other African countries and their systems of government. [01:03:12] His parents’ attitudes to the regime in Mozambique and South Africa. [01:05:20] DE reflects on a sense of being British: language, education, lineage, - how DE likes being different. His father’s feelings about being British. [01:07:34] How DE knows more about British history than most of his friends. [01:09:01] Reflects on the period of African independence; and his parents’ concerns of Marxist states in southern African but their belief in independence – the arbitrary boundaries drawn up between states. [01:12:01] Hastings Kamuzu Banda in Malawi – he remembers the war of independence in Rhodesia while at school and how half his class was later killed. [01:15:44] Discusses where he saw his future (as an engineer in Malawi) his feelings when his parents’ contract was not renewed and he couldn’t easily return – situation in the 1980s in southern Africa. [01:18:45] How the life of an ex-patriate was different from the life his parents’ lived in Mozambique. Mentions how the news of Africa in western media is uniformly negative – how in rural Africa it was much safer than living in Hackney. [01:24:00] Track 3 [cont. from 01:24:00] Describes Peterhouse school in Rhodesia which was the third school he attended, it was high Anglican, modeled on English public school: subjects offered at the school, [01:27] uniforms worn. [01:30:12] Describes importing goods into Rhodesia and selling them at profit at school. [01:35:42] Talks about meeting girls and how difficult it was. [01:37:42] The war of independence in Rhodesia and how it impacted on his schooling. DE deciding to go to Waterford School in Swaziland: how the school differed from Peterhouse, its relaxed attitudes – probably meeting his wife briefly at Waterford when sitting an entrance exam, and re-meeting in London years later. Explains the origin of the school, it was set up by the Attenboroughs amongst others. Describes the backgrounds of the other students: the Mandela’s daughters were there, Archbishop Tutu’s children, [01:47:54] talks about the situation in southern Africa in late 1970s and how this impacted on the school, the school now teaches the International Baccalaureate. [01:50:25] Describes himself aged 18 – having his haircut at Malawi airport because it was too long, [01:53:40] Talks about the food at Waterford: community involvement, punishments. [01:57:47] Music he was listening to: Jimmy Cliff, Boney M, Santana, Burning Spear, the Commodores, how record players rare were so everyone taped each others music. [02:01:40] Describes the bedrooms and the modernist features – his makeshift music system which was struck by lightening. Singing ‘Nkosi Sikelele Afrika’ at school assembly – describes how the school was unique, the political situation in Southern Africa in the late 1970s [02:06:38]. DE reflects on his political views at the time: his refutation of racism, response to DE as a southern African when he arrived in England, anecdote about the sugar plantation and lack of facilities for labourers [02:11:20] people making generalisations about different races and religion. DE growing distrust of organised religion. [02:14:38] DE shock at attitudes in Britain when he arrived: general ignorance about former colonies – his sense of national identity. [02:16:42] The contrast between Newcastle and Southern Africa: discusses student life in Newcastle [02:21:05] DE complains about British weather – reflects on his life if he had stayed in Southern Africa. [02:25:13] In January 1981 his parents’ were forced to return to the United Kingdom – his feelings about leaving Africa – his growing disinterest in his engineering course at Newcastle. How he would have liked to have studied product design. [02:30:38] DE left university with no thought of working in catering. DE talks about starting to cook at university. DE buying Elizabeth David, Prue Leith, Jocasta Innes cookery books and learning how to cook cheaply. [02:37:12] His contemporaries lack of interest in food – DE encountering boil-in-the-bag food. [02:40:21] Reflects on why his contemporaries were fearful/uninformed about food. DE buying and using spices in Newcastle. [02:43:21] DE shopping at Lipton’s supermarket in Newcastle, the Grainger Market in Newcastle. DE cooking moules marinière. His family’s interest in food, why chefs need to enjoy food, ‘never trust a skinny chef’. [02:49:01] Gender differences between students in their knowledge of food. Importance of drinks.

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