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Che Dorval on carbs, scotch and Italian/Japanese fusion


Ché Aimee Dorval in Where the Rhubarb Hits the Road

Welcome back to another edition of Where the Rhubarb Hits the Road, a semi-weekly series on musicians and their eating habits. This time we have Vancouver musician Ché Aimee Dorval. Her new album Between The Walls & The Window is out on Dec 8, and she celebrates the release with a Fox Cabaret show Dec. 14.

Dorval released her debut full-length, Underachiever, in 2008 and an EP in 2015. In between, she worked with Devin Townsend. She’s guested on the Strapping Young Lad guitarist’s solo album Ki and, with Townsend, formed dark alt-country duo Casualties of Cool.

Check out the lovely, sultry “Buried”, off the new album, below. Then read about her food preferences!

Video–Ché Aimee Dorval, “Buried”:

Do you or any band members have any special food needs, allergies or eating disorders? 

Ah food! My favourite thing (aside from dogs….but not as food…yikes).

Food is definitely what gives me the most pleasure and comfort and these days my relationship with it is pretty healthy. It definitely took a lot of work to get to this here because there was a time when food and I definitely butted heads.

I’m definitely an emotional eater and touring can be a pretty chaotic emotional time and I’m also pretty body conscious so when you put those two things together you’re usually left with some sort of eating disorder and in my case I went through all of them. I think that’s part of the reason I didn’t tour too much when I was younger. I just didn’t have the energy or a healthy enough mindset to put myself out there.

But today the only special food needs I have are trying to keep away from carbs because they tire me out and these days I need all the energy I can get!

What/where was the last great meal you had? 

There’s this new Italian/Japanese fusion place in Vancouver called Kissa Tanto and it’s sooooo good. I had their Tajarin, which is a roasted mushroom and cured egg yolk pasta and it blew my mind. I tried to make it at home the next day and man, it did not go well!

Are you, or someone else in the band, what you might call a “foodie”? If so, in what way is s/he a foodie? (i.e., “So-and-so has to find a farmer’s market in every city we visit…”)

I’m such a foodie! I love going to fancy boutique restaurants. That is pretty much the whole reason I was in debt last year. Now it’s food and music debt and I feel like that’s a bit of an improvement?

What is the one most important thing that you’ve learned about eating while touring? 

Do not under any circumstances skip a meal before getting onstage. I like to feel nice and full, one bite away from a food coma and then follow up that bloated mess with a scotch and then just let the cards fall where they may.  

What is the meal-of-last-resort when on the road? 

You know what? Toasties. I do not understand everyone’s love for them. But sometimes when I’m on tour in the UK that’s all that’s available so I eat one and immediately feel like shit.

How do you find places to eat–crowd-sourced via social media, restaurant reviews, Yelp? 

If I have time, I like to just walk the city and seek out the place that looks the most warm and inviting. Eating out on tour is mostly about ambience and vibe for me. I’m generally pretty nervous before each show so I like to eat at places that are calm and quiet.


Any shout-outs to venues that are especially memorable due to extraordinary food that comes with playing a show? 

I played at a place called Drygate in Glasgow a couple of years ago and it had a venue, a brewery and this amazing little restaurant in this beautiful dimly lit cellar. I can’t remember what I had exactly but I do remember being so impressed by the food and feeling so lucky and spoiled.

Locally-made craft IPA vs. a PBR (or, if neither, beverage of choice):  

I’m not much of a beer enthusiast but I LOVE wine…a bit too much sometimes. And scotch! A nice smoky scotch. Talker is quite nice. But I have to be careful with both because if I have a too much I can turn into a bit of an asshole. Or maybe I just am a bit of an asshole and can generally hide it really really well? Who can tell these things!

Ché Aimee Dorval plays an album release party for Between the Walls & the Window Dec. 14 with Jasper Sloan Yip and Gentle Party. Tickets are $10 at the door. 

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