Pegs on the Road

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Pegs on the Road

I once thought that my formative years as an "Army brat" gave me a fairly broad education: 44 states before I was 12 years old, living in Florida, three locations in Virginia, Kansas, Washington State and two places in Michigan.

I have nothing on my peripatetic daughter, however.

(Or, for that matter, my son1, either!)

After college and the obligatory post-graduate experiences in lower Manhattan, Pegs matricu­lated into major league cuisine with mad Eli Zabar at his upper Eastside E.A.T. between 80th and 81st Streets, then helped him open Eli's Vinegar Factory on East 91st Street.

After a stint as Specialty Foods Manager for the then-new Fairway/Harlem, Pegs had a yen to sample her brother's "on the road" lifestyle, and began by chef'ing for Blues Traveler.

When, as is their wont, BT shut down for six months following their New Year's Eve show, Pegs had made a connection with a gal in Tennessee who booked culinary talent for traveling musical acts.

She called the gal and asked if she had any work for her over the next six months, and two hours later she had accepted bookings with Bob Dylan, Neil Young and Neil Diamond.

So was born my Roadie Chef2 daughter, in which pursuit she has excelled for the past dozen years.

(During which time great benefits have accrued to ol' Dad, from choice concert seats, "swag" and two ex­quisitely em­broidered leather tour jackets from Neil Young "Solo" and CSNY2K.)

Now officially "a lady of a certain age," married to a most understanding husband, Pegs is still on the road, but for the past five years as per­sonal chef, initially to Sarah Mclachlin and at present Kelly Clarkson, with whom she's cir­cumnavigated the planet twice to date.

(On the global thing, both progeny have beaten ol' Dad before either turned 40.)

This Summer Pegs was on the State Fair cir­cuit, and as she tells it...

"My daily set-up is next to either cows, goats or pigs... it could make even the strongest of stomachs turn.

Deep-Fried Pepsi - click for full-size image Here's a pictorial collection of some of the most disgusting things I have eaten: deep-fried Pepsi, deep-fried cookie dough, deep-fried White Castle burgers (surprisingly tasted like stuffing–but still the top gross­est thing I have ever eaten), corn dogs and funnel cakes (neither gross, and deemed a state fair consumption necessity).

We are slowly eating our way across America, one deep-fried thing a day, the rule being one must be allowed one bite a day of one deep-fried grossness.

It's been awesome.

And greasy."

That's m'girl!

  1. As yet unrecounted here, my son-in-heir spent 14 years Blues Traveler-ing around the world several times over. He is at this time retired from "the road."
  2. Not so coincidentally, Pegs was featured on Food Network's Roadie Chefs 2 while she was with Barenaked Ladies at the start of this decade.


1. Jeanne Speir said...

I do believe I see the noodly appendages of the Flying Spaghetti Monster in them thar Pepsi Fries.

Pastafarians are EVERYWHERE!!

The only place I could possibly see Elvis would be face first in the deep fried cookie dough. Yuh-hunh!

Good sighting.

2. Mrs Genetics said...

She missed out on one of the dishes contending for this year's awards at the Texas State Fair, deep fried butter (I kid you not). Frozen, covered with dough and dropped into the deep fryer.

My arteries clog at the very thought!

3. Peggy Speir said...

I will take a pass on deep fried butter... I mean, seriously, WTF!?

Actually, I stopped 10 days ago eating all of that junk. I am officially completely and utterly totally over the state fair circuit. If asked ever again to tour like this I will vehemently decline… I mean, being a woman of a certain age, one must know when to say "NO!"

4. Linda Perme said...

Worked with Peggy a long time ago at E.A.T. in NYC... glad to hear she is still working with food. So talented!

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