Saturday, February 28, 2015

Catching up with Big Sugar

Catching up with Big Sugar

{I sat down with Gordie Johnson from Big Sugar this week to chat food, the new album, and their upcoming show in my local stomping grounds of Jasper, Alberta}

J: So let’s cut the chase, what’s the last thing you ate?

G: We just had some meatballs from famosos (a pizza chain in Alberta) that we went to right before the show.  We needed something good to eat – so we ordered from famosos.  It’s a small little quaint pizza place with really great sauce.  Order me famosos and I’m good to go.

J: The band has been touring across Canada this winter, any great local eateries along the way you’d like to tell us about?

G: We are always on the lookout for good Ethopian food – we know a couple of cities in Canada that we like to go to - Lethbridge Alberta has a really great restaurant [Abyssinian Restaurant]   The restaurant smells like frankincense, they make popcorn, roast all their own coffee, amazing vegetarian food - it’s a whole experience really.

J: What’s your favourite Canadian cuisine? 

G: I like a good poutine, I haven’t had any in awhile!   I have a drummer from Texas with me, and we have to get him a good poutine, where do you recommend?

J: L&W Restaurant (a local eatery) has the best poutine you’ll ever taste – their poutine’s are legendary.   Kids away at college come home and the first thing the do is grab one of their poutines.

G: Any other great eateries we should know about while we're in Jasper?

J: Well we have a Famoso's, since I know you like that - Jasper is really a great hub for unique eateries.  Café Mondo has the best mulligawtany of your life and since I know you take your coffee pretty seriously, Coco’s Café serves up a great cup.

G: Oh ya, that will make me happy.

J: So you’ve been playing in rural communities vs big cities for this album - tell us about that. 

G: The vibes have been lovely everywhere we go – big cities, small towns – because it’s an acoustic presentation it lends itself nicely to any space.

J: What made the band go in a more acoustical direction for this album?

G: It’s almost like recreation for us.  It’s so much fun and so easy to do – to play the music acoustically.  It was something that was inspiring us and
it got such a nice response that we booked a tour around it.  We really like doing this.

J: What’s your favourite song on the new albumn?

G: All of them – we only play the songs we love.

J: What inspires you?

G: I’ve written hundreds of songs, I haven’t narrowed it down to one thing.  We’re constantly scribbling in books, cataloguing little ideas as we go.

J: Something that helps you get in the mood to write?

Yes, yes, red wine – there’s lyrics in every bottle! 

J: Any wine recommendations?

G: We are really liking the 2010 Chianti Reserve right now – we are really liking those. You’ve got to have a good red wine for it to be a good show.

J: Are there little pieces of home you like to bring while on tour?

G: Once we get on stage, we are at home.

J: Any great Gordie recipes you'd like to leave us with?

G: Something I’ve been doing lately is experimenting with Jamaican food.  I learned how to make a fried egg with coconut oil – it’s almost like a deep-fried egg. You heat up coconut oil, it will get really hot really fast, and you break your egg gently in the oil – it just crusts perfectly round.  It looks just like an English muffin when it comes out.  It’s hard and crispy on the outside, with a little salt and pepper, and it’s nice and runny on the inside, it's really great. It’s such a simple thing, but that coconut oil gives it a certain fragrance and it’s really great. 

See you at the show!

401 Geike Street 
Jasper, Alberta

Sunday, March 1st @ 8:00pm

Tickets are available at

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