“I’m very very open-handed, I’m trying to think if I have a secret. I’m sure I do somewhere.

“I think I have intense performance anxiety, because I have a recurring nightmare that I am about to play piano – this goes back to my old life – for a crowd of people, and very often it’s in a nursing home. I don’t know what that means. But I get out there to play a piece of music, and it’s always a real piece of music, there’s a piece by Schumann called ‘Carnaval’; it’s often that one, that I don’t know at all. And I don’t have music for it. So I start making it up. And I’m just sweating bullets, and like, agida agida, agida. And then, I just sort of make something up as I go along, and the people in the nursing home love it anyway.

“I’m giving you another one in case that’s not meaty enough:

“I lost 50 pounds this year. And my usual supper, that I think has enabled me to do this, is a glass container of red wine – you know, sometimes it’s a glass and sometimes it’s a larger container – about six quarts of popcorn, a little dish of olives, some really good cheese, and an apple. That’s like … supper.”


Julian Plyter is the chef and co-owner of Melt Bakery

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Interview and photo by Laurie Ulster