When Sally A. Edwards interviewed long time friends, Adam, Adam and Mike again, she never knew this would the result in the last meal they would have with Adam Yauch. We'll always treasure the times we spent together. Let this serve as a reminder to get together with the ones you love, eat, drink and have fun as often as you can.
In this feature, you'll find not only food and drinks inspiration and recipes, but witness the art of some serious leg pulling aka unconditional love.
This feature first appeared in the print edition, BLAG Vol.3 Nø 2 published in 2011
Interview by Sally A. Edwards
Ten Essential by Beastie Boys
Photography by Sarah J. Edwards
Ten Essential Food & Drinks
by Beastie Boys
At lunch the day before we recorded this Adam Yauch turned to me and asked, “Can we do something with you guys that has nothing to do with the album?” He sprinkled more freshly cut chilli over his lunch and continued, “Can we do something on food?”
“Of course!” I said.
The next day we meet at their hotel. In a small basement room, Adam Horovitz, Mike D and Adam Yauch occupy a sofa at the far end. Each display their personalities – Mike poised with legs crossed, sipping on a wine glass of water, Adam Yauch laid back as usual and Adam Horovitz perched forward and chipper. They’re surrounded by garish wallpaper and a clashing piece of art. The rest is a self explanatory, somewhat unconventional Ten Essential...
Sally: I was thinking we could do Ten Essential Food and Drinks for Refuel or Ten Essential Food and Drinks in Your Dreams, and I came up with ten areas going across the day. So you’d start with a drink, then have breakfast, then elevenses...
Adam Y: Elevenses?
Sally: Yeah. Do you know what that is?
Adam Y: Yeah, yeah, yeah. It’s a kind of mid-breakfast, lunch-thing.
Sally: Then a lunch, a desert, an afternoon tea, a three course dinner and a night cap - and that makes ten things. Does that sound good?
Adam Y: Yeah.
Sarah: You know what the Ten Essential is, don’t you?
Mike: Huh? What?
Sarah: [laughs] A Ten Essential.
Mike: I do them all the time. I’ve done them for BLAG, I’ve done them for a lot of big publications... Mademoiselle.
Sarah: [laughs] Mademoiselle magazine?
Adam H: Really? For their online content? Or for the magazine?
Adam Y: Is that the same time I was on the cover of Vogue?
Sarah: It’s basically a tips or a how to guide. Mike did a travel one for us.
Adam H: Mike should do one on houses and like where to put a kitchen and stuff.
Mike: Yeah, I have a lot of very strong opinions on that.
Adam Y: You should do a Top Ten Places to Choke Mike.
Adam H: That would be a good idea.
Sally: Oh, so you could do one each then?
Adam H: Top Ten Bags of Mike’s to Shit In. [Turns to Mike] I didn’t do that... yet.
Adam H: I’ll do that. I’ll do that for you. We can do that and we can video tape it.
Adam Y: First question, Sally. You have the floor. [Clicks fingers at Adam H to pay attention. Adam H put his hand up, Adam Y, jokingly pushes his hand away.]
Sally: Well, it seems you’re doing one each at the moment.
Adam H: I don’t really understand it, but... what do I do?
Sally: Top Ten Bags to Shit in?
Adam H: That’s a separate piece.
Adam Y: I’m doing foods?
Sally: You can either do all the foods or you can share it?
Mike: I’m completely lost, but what I’m going to do is just follow these guys and try to seem really smart.
Sally: This wasn’t planned. You know this, right?
Adam H: No, I know. So what’s the first one we’re doing?
1. The First Drink of the Day
Adam H: I think we should each do one... Mike, what’s the first thing you drink in the morning?
Mike: First drink of the day for me is pretty much generally always I need a good proper pulled shot, but I like it... [gestures pulling down]
Sally: A pulled shot?
Adam Y: Espresso
Adam H: It could mean all kinds of things...
Adam Y: He was beating around the bush there, but he was talking about espresso.
Adam H: A pulled shot could’ve been like a bad thing or something...
Sally: I don’t know, I was immediately imagining ...
Adam H: Well, he lives in Vegas, so he’s likes... [gestures fruit machine pull]
Mike: A fucking shot of espresso. What gives!
Adam H: I know!
Mike: A little shot of espresso, I like machiato, other people prefer other things, but here at the hotel...
Adam Y: We’re never going to get through this whole thing if this is the way you’re going to answer the question.
Mike: ... the shots they pull taste like dishwater. I don’t like them, so I go around the corner.
Adam H: I make a cup of coffee first thing in the morning.
Adam Y: Green tea.
Adam H: Breakfast for me is either a bowl of cereal... I mean this is usually, a bowl of cereal or grits and eggs. That’s what I’ve been making lately, it’s not an everyday thing, I’m just saying I’ve been in a little phase of making quick grits and eggs.
Sally: Can you explain grits to the Brits, please?
Adam H: Grits is like a corn meal polenta, but the ones that I make are... like the crappy ones don’t taste corny.
[To Mike:] Remember we got into this thing? So mine don’t taste corny, but it’s good, you put butter and stuff on it and have it with fried eggs.
Adam Y: Me? Fried eggs over rice, with a little sliced avocado and some fresh salsa if that’s available.
Adam H: What kind of rice?
Adam Y: Usually a long grain, like a basmati rice, but I don’t mind if it’s a short grain like a Korean or a Japanese rice, I can certainly deal with that. I make it in the rice cooker – you know, the rice maker-thing.
Adam H: Sorry to interupt, but what I want to know is if you put soya sauce on the rice and eggs?
Adam Y: Once in a while but not usually at breakfast time. If I end up making it a little later in the day, if things flip around, I might put a little soya sauce, but usually I do put hot sauce on.
Adam H: Mike?
Mike: I have to say I think Yauch’s breakfast sounds very good, but it’s big. I usually have a smaller breakfast. I have just fruit or I have, ideally home made granola, rice milk, sliced banana and berries.
Adam Y: This is where usually... Actually Mike, I see you eating something like the breakfast you just described, but it’s usually boxed cereal and blueberries that you come in and have at elevenses. Because we meet at the studio right about 11am and Mike usually shows up with a box of cereal.
Mike: That’s true. Sometimes I have the homemade granola.
Adam Y: Yeah. OK.
Mike: I’m just saying, I bring it in the tupperware-thingy.
Adam Y: I’m not going to argue with you...
Adam H: My elevenses is a second cup of coffee and the thing we call the Yossi Loaf. Mike’s man, Yossi. I mean, his friend is a baker and he makes the best loaves and muffins and things. So my favourite elevenses is a nice little muffin-thing.
Mike: What’s different about Yossi’s Loaf, aside from the fact that they’re good?
Adam H: They’re better than good.
Mike: Well, they’re great, but they’re vegan too. He’s a vegan baker.
Adam Y: I’ll back Adam. I’ll go with some Yossi Loaf, but I might have a cup of green tea. But that’s elevenses, straight-up! We don’t call it that in New York.
Mike: I like the term.
Adam H: Like, if we’re not in the studio and it’s 11am, I’m thrown off a little. I don’t really know what to do. I’m just sayin’.
4 & 5. Lunch with a Desert
Adam H: Lunch with a desert? I don’t have desert with lunch.
Mike: Yauch has already described my elevenses, but...
Adam Y: You take it...
Mike: No, no, no...
Adam Y: I was out of line.
Mike: No, you outted me and that’s true, you described it to a T. But to add, the tailend of that is that I then have another espresso, usually that I bring from home in a thermos to the studio.
Adam Y: Or sometimes you bring that Indian Chai.
Mike: Oh, the Chai. It’s a homemade tea. I make it.
Adam Y: It’s very fragrant. Oh you make that?
Mike: Well, I grate the ginger and add the cardamom pods.
Adam Y: Isn’t there cinnamon in it aswell? When Mike breaks out his Indian Chai, the studio is fragrant.
Mike: It’s pungent.
Adam H: Right, Lunches. [Pronounced Lunchees, like elevenses.]
Sally: Well, can we make it into a two-part lunch, because I want to get this to ten?
Adam H: Alright, we’ll make this a two-part because you know we’re at the studio a lot and we order lunch everyday.
Adam Y: Why don’t we talk about sides?
Adam H: Well, this is what I’m getting to, so we have lunch everyday at the studio when we’re there and we order our lunches and our engineer, André is known as the Prince of Sides. So we’d order lunch and stuff and he’d order the sides.
Adam Y: In addition to his own lunch.
Adam H: So we don’t really have desert with our lunches, but we have sides. André is the Prince of Sides. Mike is the King of Lunch and I’ve forgotten your title...
Adam Y: Minister of Hot Sauce.
Adam H: So that’s how our lunch goes and we have several lunch spots. We have a Japanese place where Mike is the King of Lunch.
Adam Y: Maybe we could talk about Takahachi’s straight up, because they did dub Mike the King of Lunch so we’d be giving something back to them...
Adam H: Yeah, it’s a Japanese restaurant. There are two of them in New York, in Manhattan, and man, it’s good.
Mike: And there’s different ways you can go with the orders...
Adam Y: Oh! Maybe we should talk about Taim Falafels?
Adam H: But I’d like to talk about Ellen Deli, because that’s more my arena, I get the baloney and cheese sandwich and they make it pretty good and Frito chips. Frito is a great chip, a corn chip.
Mike: Alright, well I’m going to take over with Takahachi, because they have appointed me the King of Lunch, which really is a great honour and flattery will get you everywhere. So really they get a lot of our business ever since calling me the king. What I like with the lunches there is they do like a Bento box type of thing, so you get a piece of grilled fish and various sides – not to infringe on the Prince’s sides, but it’s always a bit of a mystery. You could get a little bit of a vegetable tempura or it could be sea vegetables.
Adam Y: Yeah, they change it all the time.
Mike: It changes everyday.
Adam Y: So that’s the nice thing about Takahachi, there’s always a little surprise. And I’ll throw in Taim, it’s another place we order from a lot. It’s an Israeli falafel place. It’s really the only good falafel you can get in New York. Like, there’s all these falafel places everywhere in New York and it’s actually BSF.
Mike: Yeah, they’re grimy. And this is your thing, Yauch, but I think Mario C would say the place is very clean. Right?
Adam Y: Yeah, and they make it fresh like right when you order, they make different kinds of falafel.
6. Afternoon Tea
Adam H: This is probably where I’d have my third cup of coffee, I’m not proud of it, but it does happen. After lunch I get a little sleepy, so...
Adam Y: That’s why I’m still drinking green tea, it’s this thing that goes on all day, but it’s this tea where they pick the buds when they’re really young and so it’s really nice. It’s a smoother green tea, it’s not bitter bullshit, it’s not tea you get in the supermarket, you’ve got to get it in Japan or in a Japanese store. I don’t know the exact name.
Mike: I’m actually oddly enough going to have to echo Adam on this because I generally hit coffee number three at afternoon tea time.
7, 8 & 9. Dinner with Three Courses
Sally: Would you do three courses?
Adam Y: Hell no.
Adam H: When I cook at home, I’ll make three things on the plate. Does that count?
Adam Y: I don’t know a carb? A veg?
Adam H: [laughs] I don’t know, but I have to have three things! It would be like a salad and a thing and another thing. Like I’d make salad and a vegetable and a steak or something like that. It has to be a trio, I don’t know why.
Mike: Oh trinity. It’s good.
Adam H: But when I order food to be delivered, it’s only two.
Adam Y: But when you get a TV dinner, you get five things...
Adam H: Alright, I got to tell you guys something. I told you this before, but you know... I want to give a shout out to Suzie’s Chinese Restaurant on Bleaker Street, because they told me that I was their number one customer.
Sarah: Are you still the number one customer? Over five years later?
Adam H: They’ve only told me the once. And it’s a different delivery guy now.
Adam Y: That’s borderline, I’m calling you King of Dinner, right there.
Adam H: So they said I was the number one customer. And Suzie’s, they’re famous for their... Was it Sue Simmons? Was it a food critic from the New York Post, not Sue Simmons, but they wrote in the late ‘70s about their famous Beef Jasper and that’s their claim to fame.
Adam Y: This is great, so we have the King of Lunch, the Prince of Sides, the Minister of Hot Sauce and the Number One Customer.
Sally: Do they have a signed picture of you?
Adam H: I keep giving them signed pictures and they don’t...
Mike: Dinner. Actually, a couple times a week I have a three course dinner.
Adam Y: Really?
Mike: Yeah, that’s because, Tamra, my wife, she can really turn it out. She’s an esteemed woman of culinary skills. So often we’ll start with like a soup, a simple veg soup. Our dinners are pretty much always vegetarian, so it’s green whatever, maybe some quinoa, red rice or wild rice or something, maybe a bit of tempe.
Adam H: Well, let me ask you, ok, so the soup comes out and that’s the first course and then the next course comes out, but it’s not just the thing, it’s basically the thing with rice, right?
Mike: It’s basically the same as you described, like three things.
Adam: Right, but then you have a third. So you have a desert?
Mike: If friends are over. I’d say if it’s just Tamra and I, then no. But if friends are over...
Adam Y: You do entertain quite a bit.
Mike: We do entertain quite a bit.
Adam H: I wouldn’t know, because I’ve only been to the new place, just the once. So...
Mike: Yeah and we’ve covered that in lyrics, Adam.
Adam H: Yeah.
Mike: “I invite you over to dinner and you’re like nah, please. And I catch you in the dumpster behind Arby’s” It’s been well documented in lyrics.
Sally: But when you do have desert, what do you have? Sorry, I didn’t mean to chip in like that.
Adam H: Oh! I’ve got a great desert. I’ve got a great desert! Tips! I don’t know what the grilling situation is like over here, but Jamie Billett, the number one, the winner of the grilling contest showed me his thing of grilling peaches. It sounds not that exciting, but you grill up a steak or whatever you’re grilling you eat it, then you cut a peach in half and let it grill, just sit there... trust me! A little vanilla ice cream.
Adam Y: Yeah, that sounds good.
Adam H; Yeah. It gets all caramelized and sugary, it’s good. It has the beef juices and stuff.
Mike: Could you do that in the oven if you weren’t...
Adam H: You could do it upside down with the broiler I guess, could be similar. What’s up with that? Sorry I interupted your dinner. By the way, nothing against Mike, Yauch is a very good cook. Very good.
Mike: I agree.
Adam Y: I can cook a little bit, though my Dad is a very good cook. My Pops. But I’d say if I was going to go three courses which I don’t usually do – because I’m like, ‘That’s a lot of food at night’ – but it would probably be small if I was going to do it. But I appreciate Italian antipasti, you know like grilled eggplant or roasted peppers or something in that realm, like the grilled vegetables with a little garlic – if I was going to go first course, which is pretty wild. Then, you know maybe a risotto if we’re going to go full Italian-style here – probably a simple risotto, not too much cheese, make it with a little chicken broth. You know, you don’t want to get too heavy with that and maybe breaded chicken breasts, something like that, with a salad at the end and then if we were doing a desert, I’d say a raspberry rhubarb pie, I’m just going to stick with that.
Adam H: Woah! You make that?
Adam Y: Dechen makes a mean raspberry rhubarb pie.
Adam H: That’s serious.
Mike: What does she do to take the bite off?
Adam Y: I don’t know. I kind of like the bite. I like it a little sour, a little bitter, like with lemon. Not too much sugar.
Mike: But what I’m saying is the trick with the rhubarb in the pie, it has a tartness you have to, you know, cook it down. Like a teany bit with the sugar...
Adam Y: Well, she might know more about that, I don’t really know how she does it, but it tastes good.
Mike: Well, a good rhubarb pie is great, I appreciate that.
Adam Y: She’s been into this. Instead of strawberry rhubarb, it’s raspberry rhubarb.
Mike: I’d like to give a shout out to a desert that is a product that I really wish that I had invented, which is Coconut Bliss ice cream. It’s made with coconut milk, and the shit is like.... pfffffff [shakes head].
Adam Y: Wow.
Mike: I’m just sayin’. It’s off the chain y’all.
Adam Y: Oh! And I want to throw just one other thing in. Fresh squeezed limeade with that dinner. Sweetened with agave.
Mike: Ooh, nice Yauch. That’s big!
Adam Y: Boom! [High five each other] But it’s got to be freshly squeezed. You know what? Most of the time in the United States you order lemonade or limeade and these fools have squeezed these lemons or limes like two days before and it tastes like shit, but if you’re in Mexico and order limeade, they would literally just squeeze them...
Mike: You know what? This is the problem in America and I’m going to give another product endorsement, they need... in Mexico everyone’s got the lime squeezer, you have that cut the lime in half, boom!
Adam Y: Boom!
Mike: And you can have lime juice in like one second. I don’t understand why Americans can’t get with that. Oh, I want to rewind back to lunch at Tiam, because I have to give Yauch props again. Because Yauch has his own drink at Tiam falafel.
Adam Y: Oh shit! That’s right.
Mike: It’s called The Yauch. And he pioneered this, because they have a ginger mint lemonade which is very good. Yauch fucking raised the bar. He didn’t just raise the bar, he blew the bar right off the mother fucking roof.
Adam H: What was the bar doing on the roof? That’s weird. Oh, he raised it up there, then he blew it off. Alright.
Mike: He invented The Yauch. Which is the aforementioned ginger mint lemonade with some pomegranate syrup, right?
Adam Y: Pomegranate-like concentrated stuff, because they make a pomegranate ice tea, where they take the ice tea and they put this pomegranate stuff in it, and I got them to put the pomegranate into the ginger mint lemonade, which was really nice.
Adam H: That’s forward thinking. Outside the box.
Adam Y: Still, everytime I order it, they’re like, ‘What? What do you want me to do?” It’s like they should just put the fucking thing on the menu.
Adam H: You should just show them your ID. You know what I mean?
Adam Y: I should have something tattooed on my forehead.
Mike: When they say, ‘What’s that again?’ You should just get all crazy on them and say, [rhymes] ‘What’s the name of this song?’ You know?
[Adam Y laughs]
Mike: You know, give it right back to ‘em like that.
Adam Y: And then what do they do? [Rhymes back] ‘Pomegranate-ginger-mint-lemonade!’
10. Night Cap
Adam Y: Oh wow.
Adam H: I don’t really drink so much, but I’ve got to say in the summer time I have a popsicle. I have an orange popsicle. I’m really into orange popsicles.
Adam Y: What about those ones that are shaped like a rocketship with a rainbow on ‘em?
Adam H: Yeah, those are good, but I can’t get orange ones.
Mike: What about creamsicle?
Adam H: I don’t like creamsicles. I don’t like milk and orange together.
Adam Y: Really?
Mike: What about the thing, that is the cup with like the weird frozen balls in it? [laughs]
Adam Y: The one frozen testicle?
Adam H: You mean nudicles?
Mike: It’s weird, it’s like the teeny-tiny lemon frozen...
Adam H: You’re not talking about...
Mike: You get them from a Mr. Softy-type truck.
Adam Y: Mike, you didn’t even talk about wine
at all, on this whole adventure.
Adam H: I think we’re leading up to it, it’s his turn on the nightcap...
Adam Y: I’m going with Bonchow - a tea made from twigs.
Adam H: But I think Michael [French pronunciation] needs to come out...
Adam Y: Michael Vin de Burgh. ‘Ladies and Gentleman! Michael Vin de Burgh!’
Adam H: Mike, you should come forward.
Mike: Well, this isn’t really a nightcap, this should come forward. I like to consume my wine with dinner. Wine with food is good, because without food, I’m a skinny person and I wouldn’t last very long, so at least I can try wines with food. A lot of wine not only needs food, it demands food. I’m an enthusiast, I mostly enjoy wines from the Burgandy region of France. I really enjoy things that are very earthy, that show what the french would refer to as la terre. A lot of the growers in Burgandy are through natural or biodynamic means because they’ve had them for centuries.
Adam Y: Biodynamic?
Mike: Yeah and actually in Italy it’s prevalent.
And as luck would have it, it’s lunchtime... I’ll take Hot Sauce with that!