Ziggy Marley and Family Cookbook: Delicious Meals Made With Whole, Organic Ingredients from the Marley Kitchen.
By Ziggy Marley
Suzy Chase: Welcome to the Cookery by the Book Podcast, with me, Suzy Chase.
Ziggy Marley: I'm Ziggy Marley and my new cookbook is called Ziggy Marley and Family.
Suzy Chase: Your first chapter in this cookbook is called Rise. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Take us back to when you were a teenager. What was the first breakfast food you learned to cook?
Ziggy Marley: Cornmeal porridge. That's a staple in Jamaica. You know? It's a staple. The first time I made it was in the middle of the night. It wasn't even in the morning.
Suzy Chase: Do you look at music and food the same way in terms of creativity?
Ziggy Marley: When I cook food, I'm pretty spontaneous and creative with it. I usually don't follow recipes. Like, in the book, I have this one recipe called Coconut Dream Fish. I was cooking some fish and kind of decided to go crazy with the coconut because I just felt like I needed more coconut and it turned into something, and that's the way I cook. I kind of create it as I go. Music, kind of the same way. Create music as we go along, you know?
Suzy Chase: Your father, Bob Marley introduced you to Ital cuisine. What is it and how is it different from Jamaican cuisine?
Ziggy Marley: Ital cuisine is a more healthy version of Jamaican food. I would say less oil, less frying, less salt, no meat, too. Usually, in Ital food we eat, I would have that bowl that is made from a fruit, from a plant and not like plates and forks and stuff like that. It's a whole idea, really. Natural food and natural utensils and natural containers. The whole thing, more natural, more nature friendly, less fake stuff in it. More just natural. Fresh. Clean and fresh.
Suzy Chase: Talk a little bit about the idea that food can make your body feel better.
Ziggy Marley: I was growing up in Jamaica, we never really go to doctors that much when we're sick as children. Nobody is ever trying to get antibiotics and if a child have a cold, you have to get some cold medicine, and all these type of things. But, when we were growing up, we learned that food is the best medicine, so that's the way I treat food. I treat food as a preventive medicine to me. Certain type of food brings me down, and certain type of food brings me up, and I would rather be up than down.
Suzy Chase: Speaking of food as medicine, the chapter entitled, All Day, covers juices and smoothies. Describe the almond coconut smoothie that reminds you of your father.
Ziggy Marley: Almond coconut smoothie, when I was growing up, my father used to make a lot of juice. I'll call them concoctions. He would make the juices with his friends and they would play ... After they would play soccer, or football, running, they would make juices. That's why they did it. I equate that to like, how I would make a protein shake today. The almond smoothie kind of represents a connection between the past and now. I think, for me, smoothies and juices is a very good to nourish the system if you don't want your system spending a lot of time working on digestion. Sometimes that suit me fine for like a dinner, if I feel like I just want to keep it light. I don't want to, like, get heavy, I just make a smoothie.
Suzy Chase: How do you keep up with eating healthy on the road?
Ziggy Marley: It's much easier now than it was. There's lots and lots place I can find. Back in the day, it was hard because we used to eat truck stop food. When I was young, it was like at a truck stop. Get some greasy food and stuff like that. But now, it's easy. Everywhere we go, there's places we can find when we travel. Even back in those days, we used to travel with a lot of our own food. For me, on my recent tour, which we just finished, I traveled with nuts, a lot of nuts, walnuts, almonds. I travel with oatmeal. If I do get hungry, I do get tempted to buy some truck stop food or something, and I just have a handful of nuts and that will satisfy me until we get to the next city where I can find somewhere to get some salad, or some sushi, or something like that.
Suzy Chase: Your wife's background is Persian and Israeli. What are some of the recipes that she contributed to this cookbook?
Ziggy Marley: She contribute ... She was the first one [inaudible 00:05:02] a great salad. I remember the salad, so there's some salad in there. There's some oatmeal, some breakfast. A lot of it has to do with the seasoning, like the tumeric, something that I rarely used before I met my wife. The flavoring of the food has a lot to do with her culture.
Suzy Chase: The other night, I made your recipe for tofu and coconut carrot curry on page 49.
Ziggy Marley: Yeah.
Suzy Chase: Grinding all the spices together made for such a fresh curry. Usually, curries are kind of heavy, but this was super light.
Ziggy Marley: A lot of the recipes in the book are not just my recipes. I have family and friends. That coconut, that curry recipe, I don't remember whose is that. That might have been my sister's or one of my friends.
Suzy Chase: It's Chef Bruce Sherman from Chicago's North Pond.
Ziggy Marley: Bruce, from Chicago. There we go. Yeah. I met him a few years ago. We'll talk about ... We actually did a little talk on organic food and organic cooking. From then on, we kind of keep the connection strong, so that's his recipe right there. Obviously, everything in it is something that I endorse. I would say, I would eat or have eaten. It's a wide variety of flavors and tastes than if it was just me doing it alone, which for me, family is extension of not just who I'm related to, but my friends and the bigger human family, as I said, in the book too. Food, that's what food does. Food and cooking and eating is supposed to go beyond just yourself, your immediate family, but your friends and, if possible, the wider human family too.
Suzy Chase: You just wrapped up the big tour. What can we expect from you in 2017?
Ziggy Marley: 2017, I'm starting to go to Europe. This year, we did the United States and Canada. [inaudible 00:07:11]
Suzy Chase: Your music inspires us, and now your cookbook will too. Thanks so much, Ziggy Marley, for coming on Cookery by the Book Podcast.
Ziggy Marley: Thank you very much.