“Anarchist cook” George Egg takes off the apron to tell us about his show and how to make scrambled eggs without leaving our hotel room.
As many of those going to the Edinburgh Fringe next month will know, living in a hotel is not all it’s cracked up to be. Between the snores next door, the rattling bedposts and late night revellers, sleep is sometimes hard to come by. As is food which is cheap and tasty, right?
Wrong. Oh, so wrong.
Upcoming Fringe show George Egg: Anarchist Cook is all about the delights of hotel cuisine using only equipment found in the average room. Hell, even Premiere Inn should have all the gear that Egg uses to put together his meals – an iron, kettle, trouser-press and so forth.
We asked him about what started him down this rather curious path. “I like cooking, I like food and I don’t like people telling me what to do. I’ve some sort of naturally built-in desire to behave in a mildly anarchic way.
“It started with ironing pitta bread to slice up into fingers and dip in humous and once I realised I could do that it’s progressed all the way to Moules Mariniere and Ice Cream (not together mind you).
“It’s a combination of necessity and desire and performed, I think, with the passion of someone who really is into what he’s doing. At least I hope that comes across. If nothing else you’ll get some recipes and some free food too if you’re quick enough.”
“I’ve spent the last few years devising ways of cooking in a hotel room using the equipment that’s unwittingly provided . Why? Because I like cooking, I like food and I don’t like people telling me what to do. I’ve some sort of naturally built-in desire to behave in a mildly anarchic way. It’s a combination of necessity and desire and performed, I think, with the passion of someone who really is into what he’s doing. At least I hope that comes across. If nothing else you’ll get some recipes and some free food too if you’re quick enough.
“Once you’ve cooked eggs this way you won’t go back to using a saucepan, even if you’re not in a hotel. I promise you.”
Perfect Scrambled Eggs on Toast
1 ciabatta roll
2 portions of butter
salt and pepper
And you’ll need a stout freezer bag too
Put the kettle on. Set the iron to ‘linens’ (three dots •••).
Crack your eggs into the freezer bag, add some salt and pepper and one of the portions of butter and then massage the mixture from the outside through the bag until well combined.
Cut the roll into slices, (about 1.5cm thick), butter them on both sides and arrange them in a row before resting the hot iron on top and leaving them to toast. Check every now and then and when they’re browned turn them over and do the other side.
Lower the bottom of the bag into the kettle for 3-4 minutes periodically removing the bag and massaging the contents. Check frequently and as soon as it’s cooked take it out of the heat. Finally, add another ½ portion of butter for extra creaminess. (The beauty of this method is the gentle heat. It cooks slowly and the chances of overcooked rubbery eggs is greatly reduced).
Place the toasted bread slices onto a plate and spoon over the creamy egg before sprinkling with a little more black pepper. Maybe some herbs too if you’ve any knocking around.
You’ll find most hotels provide on request a disposable razor free of charge, so use that to shave a little parmesan cheese over the top.
(c) George Egg
If you want to see some more hotel food being made – and maybe even snaffle some yourself – George Egg: Anarchist Cook will be at the Gilded Balloon Teviot (Balcony) at 14:45-15:45 between 5-31 August (not 17 and 25). Ticket prices are £9.50 (£8.00), £8.50 (£7.00), and preview tickets are £5.00. Full information here.