My life in food: Kate Nash on Colombian food, veganism and soda bread

The singer-songwriter and star of Netflix's hit show Glow discusses what she grew up eating, the Mexican food scene in Los Angeles and where's on her culinary wishlist.

Wednesday, March 11, 2020,
By National Geographic Traveller Food
Kate Nash, singer-songwriter and star of Netflix’s Glow.
Kate Nash, singer-songwriter and star of Netflix’s Glow.
Photograph by Ruby June

There was a lot of food in my house, growing up. My mum is Irish so there was constantly food around. I remember a lot of brown Irish soda bread. She makes a really good chilli and cooked a lot of pasta. We’d eat a lot of Indian as well; there are a lot of good Indian places in north Harrow [where I grew up], so we’d have takeaways, too. 

I’ve had some of the best meals of my life in Colombia. The food is so fresh and delicious. I fell in love with patacones, which are these crispy, fried plantain things with salt. The fruit and vegetables there taste out of this world and the vegan culture is amazing. The best vegan cheese I’ve ever had was in Bogotá. 

When we’re on set, we eat about seven meals a day. There are 300 people [on the set of Glow] doing loads of difficult work, so there’s a breakfast, mid-morning meal, lunch, mid-afternoon meal and dinner, plus snacks in between. There are 15 women and we eat, talk and hang out in between shooting all day. You need to keep your energy up.

Being vegan forces me to eat well. I enjoy eating healthily. If I finish a gig and haven’t eaten, and I have to go to a kebab place, the worst I’ll be eating is a falafel. I always think that’s such a good thing about being vegan. On tour, you don’t want to be travelling around America and eating meat from random cities because you feel so unhealthy. You’d be amazed at the cities that have a vegan cafe, even the places you might not expect. 

The Mexican food in LA is amazing. There’s a lot of Ethiopian food, too, plus juice bars and places serving raw bowls. There’s a swanky grocery shopping culture, which I have to say I really enjoy. There’s a supermarket called Erewhon, which you go into thinking you’ll spend your month’s rent on groceries. My favourite place to eat in LA is Kitchen Mouse. It’s all vegetarian or vegan, and they do things like moros cakes [black bean and brown rice cakes], brown rice mushroom sausage patties, cilantro creams and chipotle creams.

I really miss hummus. It’s easy to get really good hummus in England but I find it difficult in America. I really like Dune [in LA], which serves the best falafel I’ve ever had — it’s bright green inside. Everything at Dune is home-cooked: the bread, these crispy potato things on top of the hummus... oh my god, it’s all so good.

I really want to go to South India, Israel and Egypt. Then I’d head back to Colombia for that vegan cheese.

The video for Kate’s latest single, Bad Lieutenant, is out now. The final season of Glow will be on Netflix later this year. Interview by Farida Zeynalova

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