Last week, as part of the British Science Festival, we went to see George Egg perform his show ‘Anarchist Cook’ at The Studio theatre in Bradford. George Egg is a touring stand-up comedian who consequently spends a lot of time in budget hotels. As he finishes his comedy gigs in the late evenings, it’s often difficult to find any decent food available (apart from pizza and kebab shops).
So, the show is based on the premise of: what can you cook in an average hotel room, using only the equipment that’s there?
This is, of course, bearing in mind that you don’t usually get a cooker, oven or any cooking utensils in an average hotel room. Instead, George Egg cooks a three course meal in just over an hour, using an iron, a kettle, a pillow case, some of the complementary salt and pepper sachets, some foraged plants from hotel reception, and a Gideon Bible.
The starter includes crostini toasted on the iron, ricotta that had been strained through a pillow case using UHT milk sachets (209 sachets to be exact), and a salad with leaves from a spider plant (which until now I didn’t know was edible). For the main course, he steamed sea bass in the travel kettle, and desert was pancakes, again cooked on the iron.
These were just three of the recipes that George has come up with, and he mentions others in his show. This includes curing your own salami sausages (requires a hotel room with removal ceiling tiles and being able to request the same room a few weeks later), and making bread using a complimentary wine bottle as a rolling pin and the countertop in the bathroom.
It was a good show, clocking in at around an hour long, and the audience were invited to try the food at the end. Alas, by the time we’d made it out, it had all been eaten – the show was free, funded by the science festival’s sponsors, and so it was a full house. We did, however, buy the recipe cards – although we’ll probably use more conventional cooking utensils to make them.
The Anarchist Cook show has recently run at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and George Egg is due to reprise it at a couple of dates in Wales next month. Hopefully he’ll be able to tour it elsewhere soon as it’s a good show to watch – it’s both entertaining, and educational. If not, he also has plenty of stand-up dates coming up as well.
Disclosure: I work for the University of Bradford who were this year’s host of the British Science Festival.