For a band on tour, what's the next most important thing to performing? Eating, of course! Every band that has hit the cold roads of Canada has its favorite restos, diners, coffee shops and steakhouses. Tastes of the Tour Bus features these road-tested recommendations. Today, singer songwriter, Jill Barber.
Jill Barber is a classy gal. You can hear it in her music and she applies that class and sass to other parts of her life too. Take food for instance. When she is on the road performing with her band, her favorite restaurants seem to reflect the finer things in life. She's a foodie! It could be the perfect meals prepared at Raymond's in St. John's, or the fresh fish you can find at The Atlantic in Toronto. This gal knows how to do it right.
Jill feels that musicians and food have a special relationship.
"The thing about touring, night after night you play the same show, so it's about creating memories. It's about having memorable experiences in the different cities," explains Barber while eating at Toronto's The Atlantic.
"There's so much happening with our brain chemistry and making connections with food. I think with humans, food is a sense that we associate with memory. After a long tour, the great meals are what sets one night apart from the night before. I think that is why so many musicians become passionate about food."
When it comes to company, Jill Barber is often eating with her band, whether she wants to or not.
"After a lot of days on the road, you feel like, whether or not you chose this family, this is your family. It's dinner time and this is the time you commune together and you share food. For my band, it's essentially the most important hour or two hours of the day."
Fellow foodie and musician Miranda Mulholland caught up with Vancouver's sultry-voiced chanteuse to get all her picks for great restaurants across Canada.
Jane’s on the Common - 394 Robie Street
JB: "It has always been an amazing stand by for me. It's low-key, but the food is very thoughtful, well presented in a warm environment. It's right on the edge of the park. I would always order whatever they have for fish on the menu, and Jane's wouldn't let you down."
St. John's, Nfld.
Raymonds - 95 Water Street
JB: "It's high-end, it's pricey, and you would want to go to spoil yourself. It definitely gave me and my whole band this incredible culinary experience. We just had a very memorable meal. That meal was incredibly memorable. The show was great, but we have lots of great shows. The meal was incredible."
Damas - 5210 Avenue du Parc
JB: "It's a favorite of my bands. It's Middle Eastern cuisine. Really excellent food. It's in the plateau, kind of hip neighbourhood, but the restaurant itself is not terribly hip, it's just really good. We all went there as a band and you eat family style. We put the trust in the hands in the chef. We won that night. It was a great meal, and we have been back."
Bao Bei Chinese Brasserie - 163 Keefer Street
JB: "It took my band to a great restaurant in Vancouver. It advertises itself as a Chinese brasserie. It kind of incorporates Asian flavors in a Brasserie style atmosphere. Pure deliciousness. I recommend it to anybody who is travelling to Vancouver. It's in Chinatown. Consistent, affordable and a great atmosphere."
Fusion Grill - 550 Academy Road
JB: "I went there for the first time with my family. A very memorable meal. I had a Lake Winnipeg pickerel. It was just perfectly cooked fish, a lovely presentation, nice service, the way Winnipeggers tend to be, a really unassuming, non-pretentious environment."
Pan Chancho - 44 Princess Street
JB: "I went to school, I went to Queen's University and I spent four years living in Kingston. I need to give a shout out to Pan Chancho. I worked the late-night shift as a dish washer at Pan Chancho which was the bakery attached to Chez Piggy. My shift would start at 6 p.m. and it would end at 3 in the morning. I stay up late with the pastry chefs. I learned all about quality agreement. That's where I really got my food education."
Chez Piggy - 68 Princess Street
JB: "It was the early adopters of great local thoughtful cuisine."
The Atlantic - 1597 Dundas Street West
JB: "I have thoroughly enjoyed my meal. Love the atmosphere. The chef has taken very good care of us. We put it in his hands, so we didn't order anything off the menu, which is my favorite thing. I love trusting chefs when it comes to dining out. It's just been a pleasure."
Listen to Miranda and Jill's foodie conversation by hitting the 'Play' button to the left
Jill Barber CBC Music page
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on Jan 08, 2013