In June 1992 the much anticipated Bruce Springsteen European tour began. I was a member of his entourage. My responsibility was the well-being of his then 2 year old son Evan James. I have signed a confidentiality agreement so I need to keep this as my experience and not his. At that point in my career I had never worked for a living legend and will probably never experience that level of public adoration for a human being again. That summer I stayed only in the top hotels in each city and travelled on Concorde and a private jet, never having to go through customs. We were whisked away by waiting security on the tarmac of each city.
My experience began with a flight on Concorde from New York. On arrival at heathrow we were taken through the queen’s private entrance onto the waiting private jet to Stockholm. The plane touched down in Stockholm at 4am. It was still light because it was summer time. A few security people got on the jet, excited about the arrival of this VIP. Even though I had been with the Springsteens at this point for 10 months, I hadn’t seen this level of excitement from authority figures before. We stayed at the Grand Hotel, on the water in Stockholm. Swedish food isn’t my favorite, bland and dairy. Too much herring and mussels for these taste buds. Yes there is always a Smorgasbord!! After Stockholm came Milan. We stayed at Hotel Principe de Savoia. Milan was chaotic, always a worry about kidnapping.
In every city we had local security as well as Kevin to oversee the different handlers. Dawn was also a nanny on the road, she took care of their newborn daughter. Armed with our handmade guide books from the record labels and a VIP pass card, we had carte blanche into any restaurant or club. Milan nightclubs are filled with beautiful wannabe models. Great eye candy on the road. With a week off, our next stop was Hotel Villa D’Este on Lake Cuomo. This area has summer homes to George Clooney and Versace. A pictaresque lake with old homes purchased up the side of hills.
Once inside the grounds of Villa D’Este there really is no reason to leave the hotel. The restaurants and grounds are an adequate resting place for several days. Our next stop was Barcelona, a favorite for Bruce and Patti. The concerts there took place in a bull ring. I managed to stand on the side of the stage for the whole concert, now I understand what it must feel like to perform infront of thousands of people excited to hear you. The next stop was Frankfurt, then Paris and finally London. I will cover more experiences from this visit along the way.
Today I am going to cook a traditional British Sunday lunch for a high profile Brit working in Los Angeles. I love the fact that even though he has more money than God, he wants a British cook to come and make him his roastie.
Many chefs have tried this task and have failed to satisfy a British person with a traditional palate for british grub.
This is the performance I intend to follow through with, in order to create a Hungry Duchess food memory.
To roast the chicken:
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Salt, pepper and olive oil the bird. Meanwhile add golf ball sized peeled potatoes to boiling water for 12 minutes with a whole lemon and garlic cloves. After 12 minutes take out garlic and pierce lemon 10 times. Add them to the roughly 4 1/2 lb bird’s cavity and pop it into the oven for 45 minutes. Put the lid on the seived potatoes and shake to create fluffiness. After 45 minutes add the potatoes to around the chicken, basting in all the juices and add some salt. After 30 minutes, baste and turn the oven up to 425 degrees for the last 15 minutes. Remove the chicken cover in foil and let sit for 15 minutes. Meanwhile make the yorkshire puddings whilst bird is in its final 45 minutes of cooking. Add 1 egg to 3oz of flour, mix and then whisk in 3oz milk and 2oz of water and salt. Whisk with electric whisk then add hot drippings to yorkshire pan (11′ x 7″), heat up in oven for 15 minutes and then add batter and bake at 425 for 25 minutes. Beautiful crusty sunday roast!! Cook broccoli, cauliflower and peas, make Bisto gravy with veggie juices and chicken drippings and we have a delicious sunday diner. The meal will be followed up with Jamie Oliver’s summer crumble and hot bird’s eye custard. Enjoy your Sunday and if you are in Los Angeles then Super Bowl may be your priority. That is the final of American football.