Interview with NATHAN TRENT + Recipe

Who would have thought that my friend NATHAN TRENT will represent my home country Austria at the Eurovision Song contest one day? I did!!! Because he is incredibly talented!! Please check out his youtube channel and the song "Running on air" which he will present on May 11th and May 13th in Kiev and VOTE FOR HIM. I am so so soooo  proud!! GO NATHAN! 

For those who have never heard of the Eurovision song contest.. a quick intro:  Its a annual international TV song competition, held, primarily, among the member countries of the European Broadcasting Union.  Every year, each country picks one band band or musician to participate in the contest! It's a very colourful and crazy event where different cultures and backgrounds meet, sing, dance and celebrate. 

!!!Update!!! Nathan became 16th at Eurovision! CONGRATULATIONS :-* 

Foto credit Jan Frankl 

Foto credit Jan Frankl 

 

I have always had a big interest in people’s eating habits, especially when their profession is performance related. Me and Nathan skyped a few weeks ago and he answered the questions I had regarding his diet and food choices: 

 

Nathan, your mother’s side of the family is Italian and your dad is from Austria. Did you grow up eating grandma’s pasta with tons of parmesan cheese everyday as we would expect it from a stereotypical Italian family? Tell us a little bit about your childhood. 

Right. I grew up in Italy, my dad is Austrian, so I experienced both parts quite strongly. Food has always been a very important part in my family, for every celebration or occasion we would sit together and have a nice meal. Pasta as a starter, then some meat or fish with vegetables or polenta and a side of salad and then yogurt or panna cotta and then cheese,  cheese as dessert or after a dessert. The most memorable thing is that we always had the TV running in the background so we wouldn't notice how much we were eating. haha

In Italy food is so important. It's the one time of the day where everyone comes together and talks about the day and eats. Celebration of life. People come together to eat. People come more likely to an event where there is food right.  

I would say I developed a very delicate palate for good food and great flavors. Pasta was a staple of course. I had a weird habit when I was a kid, I used to love to snack on dry pasta, very crunchy! I also remember that I barely ate as a toddler..an apple..a few crackers..I was a very small kid and then at the age of 4 or 5 I really started to enjoy eating and that's when I got interested in the different tastes and flavours. 

Then you moved to Vienna at the age of 19/20..how was that? How did your diet or eating habits change? 

Well it didn't change much in the first year because my mom came to my place every two weeks or every month and she cooked so much that I was good for the entire rest of the month, so that was great but then when that wonderful time was over I of course had to cook for myself. 

How did that go? 

The first 6 months I’d say I probably cooked at home most of the time and then I started to eat out because it turned out to be sometimes even cheaper and it wasn't that I was eating unhealthy, I had to keep my strength and provide my body with a lot of energy to be able to dance a lot and perform all day long. I then moved from the student housing to my own apartment where I had my own kitchen. From that time on I cooked a lot at my place and prepared my meals for the week or the next day whenever the schedule allowed it, because we had a very time consuming schedule at school. 

I try to eat a lot of carbs and energy dense food since I need the energy for rehearsals and performances. I quickly learnt that fuelling my body with nourishing and nutrient dense food benefits my health and performance. 

I think I speak for a lot of students here, but living on your own and paying for your own food is a whole different story than staying at your parents place and having a full fridge. I spent most of my money on food because I had certain standards about the quality of it, which wasn't the cheapest sometimes. Is there any advice from you on how to live healthy on a budget? 

That is a very good question because I wasn't very good at it haha. I’m someone who doesn't spend a lot of money on things, but when it comes to food I want to eat good food! That's my priority. I was always a big fan of different cuisine and trying out different flavours. So I would spend the majority of my money on going out to eat in French, Turkish, middle-eastern, Japanese, Indian... restaurant once in a while. What would you do to live healthy on a budget? 

Probably buy your staples like oats and brown rice or whole wheat pasta in bulk and then spend the rest of your money on organic meat and vegetables if possible. I remember I ate a lot of beans and chickpeas, made homemade hummus and stuff like that. It keeps you full and provides you with lots of nutrients. 

What would we find in your fridge? What is in Nathan Trent’s fridge at the moment? 

Sugo, parmesan cheese, 1 cucumber..“But I am going to order pizza tonight “

A little bird told me that your vocal cords are very sensitive to alcohol or certain foods, is that true? Do you have any life hacks for singers?

I think it depends on the person. My vocal cords are very sensitive to alcohol, smoke and everything that is a little bit too oily. It just makes singing harder for me the next day, it’s not impossible. 

Before and after shows, what do you eat?

I try not to have something heavy before a show but that's it, I don't follow a certain diet or anything. Do you have a recommendation for a quick energy boost before a show? It has always interested me. 

Totally! Since you don't want to feel full or bloated before a show but still need lots of energy, something energy-dense would make sense, like a piece of fruit (Banana, apple, orange…) handful of nuts or trail mix, a couple dates, a granola bar, some crackers… 

Now, let's play a quick game about your diet. I am going to ask you as many questions as I can in one minute. Ready? Go!

 

Sweet or Salty? 

SALTY

Favorite food? 

SUSHI

Least favorite food? 

GREEN BEANS

Bets hangover food? 

CHICKEN SOUP

Food Allergies?

NO. TOO MUCH PINEAPPLE GIVES ME A TINGLING FEELING ON MY TONGUE

Favorite cuisine? 

ITALIAN...duh

Favorite smell?

LAVENDER

Favorite herb?

ROSEMARY

Favorite ice cream flavor? 

I DON'T EAT ICE CREAM – IF I HAD TO –HAZELNUT MAYBE

Guilty pleasure? 

RED WINE – PEANUT BUTTER& NUTELLA

Wine or beer? 

WINE

Sachertorte or Apfelstrudel? 

APFELSTRUDEL

How do you drink your coffee? 

BLACK – Ristretto or Espresso

Who would you most like to cook for? 

I WOULDN'T CONSIDER MYSELF AS A GOOD ENOUGH TO COOK FOR SOMEONE. I COULD MAKE A SANDWICH FOR SOMEONE, WHOEVER IS WILLING TO EAT IT.

What did you have for breakfast today?

HAVEN’T EATEN TODAY

What’s the most money you’ve ever drunkenly spent at McDonald’s? 

MAYBE 20€

What’s your favorite flavor of Skittle? 

GREEN

If you were a type of food, what type of food would you be?

I WOULD BE A MAKI ROLL – VERY TASTY AND I HAVE DIFFERENT FLAVOURS, VERSATILE. – THE TRENT ROLL (avocado, salmon, sesame sprinkles)

 

 

Thank you, Nathan, for taking your time. I wish you ALL THE BEST for kiev!! 

 

Then he told me he is craving chicken quesadillas, which are one of his easy go to's he sometimes makes. I asked him how he makes them and e voila, I tried to replicate them. Find the recipe below: 

chicken quesadillas with guacamole 

for 2

 

4 whole grain tortillas

1 organic chicken breast

shredded cheese

zest of 1 organic lemon

one small onion, cut into wedges

1/2 green bell pepper, cut lengthwise

1/2 red bell pepper, cut lengthwise

1/2 tsp

olive oil

salt, pepper

red chilli

olive oil

 

guacamole:

1 ripe avocado

1 small tomato

1 small onion

2 garlic cloves

salt, pepper

juice of 1/2 lemon

1/2 chili

1 small bunch fresh coriander

for the guacamole, smash avocado in a bowl with a fork, add diced onion and tomato, minced garlic, lemon juice, chilli and chopped coriander 

heat one Tbsp extra virgin olive oil over high heat 

season chicken with salt, pepper, and lemon zest 

add chicken to pan and sauce over medium-high heat until done 

remove chicken from pan, dice lengthwise or into cubes 

into the same pan, add onion and peppers and cook until golden brown, set aside 

 

clean pan and put back on stove, don’t add any oil

lay one tortilla in the pan, then sprinkle a good amount of grated cheese on the bottom tortilla, and then arranging the chicken and cooked peppers on the cheese, top with a little more grated cheese and top with a second tortilla

 

flip tortilla carefully when golden on the bottom and cheese is melted 

 

Repeat with the remaining tortillas and fillings. Cut into wedges and serve with guacamole and coriander