For those of us who share our podcast obsession, you’re likely no stranger to the sensational and iconic BBC Radio 4 collection of Desert Island Discs interviews. As we Marie Kondo our lives for Spring cleaning, we’ve been thinking about the tunes, the treats and the tomes we’d save from the waves were we stranded in solitude on an island faraway.
Here, our Culinary Director at Cook Space, Tom Coughlan, shares some of culinary survival needs (no joke, if the end of the world were nigh, you’d want to be stranded with this guy - he’d totally nail Man vs. Wild) and why.
Strawberry Rhubarb Pie- If I could have one dessert for ever it would be pie, and strawberry rhubarb is my absolute favorite.
Super Dark Chocolate- this speaks for itself I think. Also a dessert item but also a way to add depth for other meals. Island mole anyone?
Honey- I doubt there would be honey bees on a desert island and honey is hands down my favorite sweetener.
Dark Roast Coffee- I can live without this, I’ve done it, for a few days at a time. But if I am being honest it is my biggest vice and I’d rather not go a day with out it.
Medium Rare Cheeseburger (with all the fixings) - This is just my total comfort food and possibly the perfect meal.
Rice- If I could have one starch forever it would be rice. Even over pasta, I apologize to my Italian roots. It also will go great with anything I could come across on an island.
Olive oil- This was a hard one to decide on. Though wouldn’t want to cook on high with olive oil a nice olive oil to finish raw fish or dress an island salad would be a small luxury.
Mustard seeds- This is two fold. For one, it’s an additional spice I could cook with. Secondly, mustard seeds will grow into mustard plants, the ancestor of our brassica vegetables (cabbage, kale, broccoli, etc.). The seeds would yield bitter greens which are a staple of my diet and I’d have nothing but time to breed myself some of my own vegetables.
Chiles- I’d need spice in my life and the endorphin rush.
Koji- Every chef but me seems to be working with koji these days. So given infinite time, also a hot humid environment it enjoys, I would be able to learn and produce all sorts of flavors and condiments. Coconut aminos, fish sauce, who knows what else I’d come up with.
ITEMS OMITTED AND WHY:
Garlic and Onion - I am assuming there will be some kind of wild allium, as it is pretty invasive all over.
Vinegar- As long as there is fruit of some kind I can make vinegar. I could even use the honey. I’d just need time for it to ferment as there’s plenty of wild yeasts and acetic bacteria everywhere.
Meat- I’m on an island so surrounded by the bounty the ocean provides. That’d not just be fish and shellfish but also birds. Most islands sadly are also invaded by pigs, goats, and even rats (don’t judge me I’m stranded on an island). Also there will probably be some kind of insects (crickets, ants, termites) that I could eat as protein. I’m stranded, time to get adventurous.