We Met the Girl Who Cooks in Her Coffee Maker
A few years ago, I briefly lived in Stockholm. My time there was punctuated by constant coffee breaks—fika, as they’re called in Swedish—because it’s so fucking dark all the time that you can’t stay awake without drowning yourself in black coffee. Swedes love their coffeemakers as much as they love pickled fish and IKEA and electronic music. They practically bathe in coffee; in fact, Sweden is the world’s third biggest coffee consumer per capita.
Then I heard about Katja Wulff, a Swedidsh blogger who repurposed her precious coffee maker into an all-purpose cooking machine. She still makes coffee in it, allegedly, but she’s also cooked pizza, fish soup, birthday cake, and something she calls “testicle tacos” using, exclusively, her coffee maker. Her recipes are compiled on the Swedish blog Kaffekokarkokboken (basically, “coffeemaker cookbook”) and, more recently, on its English counterpart Coffee Machine Cuisine. Both blogs are flooded with photos, taken by Wulff’s boyfriend Dan Sörenson, that prove just how weird the culinary arts can be. I spoke with Wulff about how the obsession all started, what she’s cooking on her new YouTube cooking show, and how to fry balls in the same pot you brew coffee.
VICE: So, where did this idea come from?
Katja Wulff: Back in 2009, I lived in a dorm and I shared a kitchen with lots of other students. I did not like to cook in that kitchen, because I’m not a very social person and the thought of hanging out with the other people sometimes creeped me out. They were all nice people, so that was all on me. And the other thing is that I’ve never liked to cook, didn’t know how to. There was this one day that I was extremely unsocial and tired—er, hungover—and I did not want to go to the kitchen. I thought about preparing my noodles in warm water from the sink but realized quickly that it must be much smarter to cook the noodles in my coffee maker. And it worked great! I was so proud of myself and started to think about what more I could cook with it. Soon my little experiment escalated and I never cooked in that kitchen again. I even got away from the mandatory cleaning week that each student got since I never spent any time there.
Wait, you don’t like to cook?
And yet, you write a cooking blog? It seems like the project is more about art than food.
That’s absolutely right. I think that Coffee Machine Cuisine is more of a creative or twisted humor or blog rather than a food blog. If you’re looking for great recipes, then read another blog. If you want to have a good laugh, I hope you’ll think Coffee Machine Cuisine is fun. It’s the same with the cookbook [Kaffekokarkokboken, published in 2011]. I want people to read the book from the first page to the last. You don’t do that with cookbooks, but this isn’t a cookbook. The blog and book aren’t about cooking great and tasty food—although I try all of the time. It’s about creativity and encouraging people to do whatever they like to do.
The Joy of Cooking (While Really Stoned)
To fully experience the joy of cooking while really stoned, you must first attain basic proficiency in both of those disciplines separately before ever attempting to combine them. Because if you can’t fry an egg without burning it, getting high will only make matters worse. And if you can’t handle your herb, you’ve got no place in a room full of sharp knives and burning hot surfaces. That said, one needn’t be a top chef or a pot head to have a wonderful time preparing (and consuming) a high-end meal while under the influence. Just start by familiarizing yourself with the following simple guidelines, humbly compiled by The Weed Eater over the course of many years.
Cook With Your Head, Not Over It
A highly ambitious meal plan combined with blazing massive amounts of highly potent cannabis may sound like a recipe for success at the outset, but things will quickly turn sour if and when something goes awry. So if you want to get really high, it’s probably better to elevate a familiar dish rather than trying to boldly cook what you’ve never cooked before.
Tips to Help You Improve Your Kitchen Safety
So I just finished this thing called a “first aid class” at the public library and it made me realize how much of a dummy I’ve been in the kitchen lately! If you’re as clueless as I was about kitchen safety, no worries, my fellow chef. Just memorize the handy checklist I’ve prepared below and you’ll be on your way to a sanitary and secure cooking space in no time.
Male Chef Kitchen Safety 101:
This is a no brainer—STEAR CLEAR OF THE STOVE! Steam is water’s hotter, more sinister cousin. Cordoning off a dangerous heated area can help reduce contact with this vicious vapor.
Be sure to cover ALL sharp tips in the kitchen. The last thing you need is a sharp piece of produce accidentally penetrating the wrong orifice.
How-To: Make Prison Style Sweet and Sour Pork With Andy Roy
You learn something new everyday, and if you weren’t locked up in Pelican Bay State Prison in the early 2000s, then today you are going to learn how to make a prison-style sweet and sour pork. And we’ve got just the man to give you a tutorial: Andy Roy, a professional skateboarder for Anti-Hero Skateboards, who’s known for a variety of things—not the least of which are the spider web tattoo on the top of his head and his dog pissers to rock.
Munchies: Momofuku Toronto
We headed to Toronto, Canada to hang with the Momofuku crew, the thriving American restaurant brand impressively stretching its wings into Canada in the midst of a burgeoning Toronto food scene, complete with pressed duck, lobster mac & cheese, and a giant whole rib eye.
How-To: Make Sous Vide Pot Butter
Everyone knows how to make a basic weed butter. We took New York chef, David Santos of Louro, to Denver, Colorado to show us how to make sous vide pot butter. He then used it to create the best marijuana meal the world has ever seen: perfectly roasted chicken with sautéed wild mushrooms and a pain perdu from the weed—ahem—pan drippings.
Just in time for Easter
Presenting MUNCHIES, a New Food Channel by VICE
Dear people who eat,
You may already know MUNCHIES as a food series by VICE. Now, MUNCHIES has been reborn as our new food channel dedicated to showing you the best videos, articles, and experiences the universe of food has to offer. And yes, MUNCHIES will live on as a show about your favorite chefs out on the town.
MUNCHIES aims to be a beacon of hope in the sea of spoiled gazpacho that is people writing and being videotaped talking about food.
Munchies is here! Follow them on Tumblr and also just go and read their site and watch a bunch of videos. They rule!
The Rôti Sans Pareil Is 17 Birds Stuffed Inside Each Other and It Is Delicious
To most people, the turducken, a solid slab of flesh created by stuffing a turkey with a duck, and that duck in turn with a chicken, epitomizes the egregious complexity and gluttonous obsession with meat that makes up a large part of modern American cuisine. But most people are pussies. In the historical world of engastration (stuffing animals inside other animals) and chimera (melding animals together) cooking, this 15-pound bird-block is about as interesting as a flaccid boiled hotdog. The true king of culinary absurdity comes from L’almanach des gourmands, an 1807 cookbook written by Alexandre Balthazar Laurent Grimond de la Reyniere, a man so outlandish he faked his own death to see who would attend his funeral. His creation was called the rôti sans pareil—the roast without equal—and it is everything that has made the half-dead art of engastration increasingly popular today: ambitious, ostentatious, and alluringly, inevitably delicious.
His recipe calls for a bustard stuffed with a turkey stuffed with a goose stuffed with a pheasant stuffed with a chicken stuffed with a duck stuffed with a guinea fowl stuffed with a teal stuffed with a woodcock stuffed with a partridge stuffed with a plover stuffed with a lapwing stuffed with a quail stuffed with a thrush stuffed with a lark stuffed with an ortolan bunting stuffed with a garden warbler stuffed with an olive stuffed with an anchovy stuffed with a single caper, with layers of Lucca chestnuts, force meat and bread stuffing between each bird, stewed in a hermetically sealed pot in a bath of onion, clove, carrots, chopped ham, celery, thyme, parsley, mignonette, salted pork fat, salt, pepper, coriander, garlic, and “other spices,” and slowly cooked over a fire for at least 24 hours.
Fresh Off the Boat — Chengdu, Part 1
It’s the season finale of Fresh Off The Boat. In Chengdu, Eddie—a.k.a. the Human Panda—returns to his bamboo roots and discovers that pandas watch panda porn. He gets a taste of Chengdu traditions with hip-hop pioneer DJ SuperBestFriend and eats pig-brain mapo tofu at a “fly” restaurant on the brink of demolition.
We Need to Quit Our Obsession with Meat Before It Kills Us
On Sunday, March 9, Pitt Cue Co.—the meat mecca just off London’s Carnaby Street—hosted a special evening, a one-off “Highland Beef Night” that featured a nose-to-tail menu of beef dishes made from a pair of Highland cows the restaurant bought a year ago from a Cornish farmer. The animals spent two months dry-aging, their flesh and bones eventually finding their way into dishes like beef scrumpets, beef and bone-marrow pasties, and the king of all cuts, rib of beef.
All of it was fucking fantastic. Not many places in London do the things to pigs and cows that Pitt Cue does. But with everyone smiling at each other—lips slicked with grease, teeth like fence posts that live animals had been fired into—I couldn’t help thinking that there was something a bit culty about a group of humans gathering together to eat two specific cows.
Locavore obsessives will kick their hooves at this. Speak to any chef, food critic, restaurateur—whomever—and they’ll give you the eat-better-meat-less-often argument, droning on about where the animals lived, what they ate, how humanely they died, which artisan coffee they drank, etc., etc. All of that is irrefutable. If you’re going to eat meat, you can do your part by eating the best quality available and, when you can, consuming the animal’s less popular parts (neck fillet, onglet, cheek, trotters, that kind of stuff) and not just the common cuts.
Meanwhile, we’ve become increasingly obsessed with meat. If an event like Highland Beef Night had been touted even a few years ago, there’s no way it would have pulled in the people it did on Sunday. Meat is now highly fetishized, especially among young people. Burgers are the new tits—if you look at any social media platform, there are as many 20-something men posting photos of ground flesh covered in neon sauce as there are sharing that zero-gravity Kate Upton video. We’ve become a society of rabid carnivores, and it’s not just getting tiresome—it’s fucking killing us.