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Lydia Lunch, along with The Dave Howard Singers and Yamantaka//Sonic Titan, feeds your need Mon, Nov 12, 8pm, at Wrongbar, 1279 Queen St W.
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Lydia's Lunch

Andrew Robertson talks to the punk icon about her meaty cookbook and concert


For decades, filmmaker, author and artist Lydia Lunch has been an icon for queers, outsiders and the disenfranchised. Having collaborated with Sonic Youth, Thrill Kill Kult and Nick Cave, Lunch is now bringing a Retro/Virus retrospective of her legendary music to Toronto. She has also just launched The Need to Feed: A hedonists guide, her first cookbook.
“It came about because of the character who played Marian on True Blood which I’d never seen before,” she says. “Somebody sent me an interview where she said I was her main influence. She’s cooking for people, drugging them and watching them go into an ecstatic orgy of food and fucking – it just made sense to me that if I inspired her, she’d inspired me to write a cookbook.”
The recipes Lunch has collected reflect years of travel and the many different places she has called home, from New York to New Orleans, and across the ocean to her new digs in Spain.
“Its an erotic cookbook,” explains the self confessed predator. “Feeding someone and eating is one of the most intimate things short of fucking that you can do. If someone’s gonna put in their mouth and swallow something that I’ve had my hands all over, and I love the idea of very few things more than that, it’s a very intimate experience. For a few reasons I thought it was necessary to write a cookbook, I mean I got the name Lunch from stealing food for a hungry Mink DeVille.”
A longtime chef, Lunch revels in both the sensory pleasure of feeling and touching food (long before the culinary pornography of the Food Network came to be) and also the communal nature of cooking for groups.
“When I lived in New York in the early 80s we were all so poor I would have to feed people,” says Lunch who counted Henry Rollins, Suicide and Sonic Youth as regular guests at her table. Since those lean days, Lunch has found that the consideration for food and ingredients globally is much different than the fast food nation, which is something she kept in mind while compiling the recipes in The Need to Feed.
The book is full of sexy details about food, weird arcane things, and the raw storytelling that Lunch is known for. While Lunch may scare the living daylights out of some, she has a wry sense of humour that others may be equally afraid to laugh at. This includes the tale of a dirt biker who was chopping some Scotch Bonnet peppers at her house and then decided to touch his junk without rinsing.  She has also named chapters in an equally tongue in cheek manner including ‘Who You Calling a Puta?’, ‘Do Me a Quickie’ and ‘This Is Going to Hurt You . . . ‘
 “I was happy to put out something that was true to who I am but that could also show the humour in what I do,” Lunch says. “I’m pretty fucking funny let’s face it.”
With that in mind, Lydia took the time to bookmark a chapter for Fab readers.
“The meat chapter is called ‘The Killer Inside Me’ and I think you may like this line; ‘If ‘Meat is Murder’, I confess, I’m a serial killer . . .  I love to watch a man hoist a hefty piece of beef to his face . . . brings out the Jeffrey Dahmer in me.’ I had to fight for that line, and no cookbook has ever mentioned Jeffrey Dahmer, obviously.”
A life of hedonism and excess, both musical and culinary, has left Lunch with a sage philosophy on indulgence. “For me it’s like drugs. If I’m gonna buy drugs I better know who I’m buying them from and I feel the same way about meat which is why I won’t eat it in America.” —Andrew Robertson
Lydia Lunch, along with The Dave Howard Singers and Yamantaka//Sonic Titan, feeds your need Mon, Nov 12, 8pm, at Wrongbar, 1279 Queen St W.

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