If you’ve been playing along at home, you’ll know that we’ve spent a bit of time hanging out with the one and only Honey Hayze. They’ve been playing sweet tunes and partying in the most beautiful places in Europe with us for a few weeks now and we like to think we know them pretty well. One thing we do know about this funky Sydney five-piece is that their bass player Shrek is a huge fan of cheese – and he knows his shit. We caught up with Shrek to get the inside scoop on all things cheese: what’s good, what’s bad, what matters and what doesn’t. Prepare to get hungry.
Stoke: What is your all time favourite cheese and why?
Shrek: Pule. A rare Serbian cheese that is the bare minimum for the bands rider. Goes well with a 2015 Shiraz.
Stoke: Does cost really matter? If you’re a broke traveller for example, can you still enjoy the finer things in life, aka good cheese?
Shrek: If you’re broke from cheese then you’ve already enjoyed the finer things in life. Cheese is like olive oil, you can buy sixth pressed, $1.50 spray that is shit, or you can get first pressed olive oil and enjoy life. Again, third pressed is the bare minimum for the rider.
Stoke: Parmesan cheese – shaved or grated and why?
Shrek: Shaved and grated both serve an important purpose in enhancing and creating a complexity of flavour for the chosen meal. Grated cheese has a greater fusion rate hence works well with warm meals like a spaghetti bolognese. Shaved cheese provides body and character to it’s selected meal. I personally prefer shaved cheese in a salad, e.g caesar salad. Once again, selecting the appropriate cheese is of major importance.
Stoke: Blue cheese? Yes or no?
Shrek: Like an olive, blue cheese is an acquired taste. If your senses are struggling to eat it then go out to your clothes line, grab a peg, put it on your nose and try again.
Stoke: What is the number one thing you must have on a cheese platter to compliment the cheese?
Shrek: When it comes to a platter, you throw the term ‘less is more’ out the door. More is definitely more. The foundation starts with seeded crackers or freshly baked sourdough bread. A variety of cured meats e.g prosciutto, capicola, salami and mortadella. Fresh fruit provides a sweet contrast when combining flavour e.g strawberry, fig, pear and mango.
Stoke: What are your thoughts on a good old block of tasty cheese?
Shrek: Tasty cheese is the biggest poser of the cheese family. Just because it says tasty, it doesn’t mean it’s natural or tasty. Yes, in very rare circumstances you may come across a decent tasty cheese, but most tasty cheese is full of bovine growth hormone that’s detrimental to your health. Recently I was tricked into having tasty cheese on tour and I knew straight away it wasn’t fit for human consumption. Even the microwave cheese lovers would have trouble melting down this bad boy. Death to tasty cheese!
Stoke: What are some cheese related highlights of your time in Europe?
Shrek: Playing shows in San Sebastian, I had many cheese and tapas highlights. With the town comes great experimental pintxos bars. My favourite bar was Atari Gastroteka. My personal favourite was the carrillera with melted blue cheese sauce.
Stoke: Cheese horror stories?
Shrek: Unfortunately I do have a horror story. I was spiked with non-human tasty cheese. Luckily my taste buds identified them early and I avoided death. However there’s a use for everything and during a wet period, ants were trying to infiltrate my teepee, so I barricaded the entrance with this cheese and they ran away in fear. It was a great deterrent.
Stoke: If you could collaborate with any celebrity chef, who would it be?
Shrek: It would be Jake Serex, the man in charge of Stoke Eats and the brains behind the world’s most delicious pies, Kontuz Manos. We would work together to create the perfect cheese pie.
Shrek is currently in England, but we are very much looking forward to having him back with us to guide us on the cheese journey of our dreams. Not only is he a cheese connoisseur, he also knows a thing or two about tunes (get you a man who can do both). His band Honey Hayze have just released a brand new single by the name of Gypsy Lady and it’s on it’s way to Triple J, Spotify, and all good ear outlets as we speak. They will be launching it at the Stoke campsite party, at the world’s biggest tomato fight, La Tomatina. Come and throw some tomatoes, eat some fine cheese and party like a maniac with us in Valencia!
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