Todd English is a mega celebrity chef who plays guitar. Richard Kruspe is a German heavy metal rockstar guitarist who used to be a cook. At a private table in Union Square’s Olives, stories were told.
People are familiar with Todd English as “king of the mountain” celebrity chef. Music fans know Richard Kruspe as the lead guitarist and founder of the band Rammstein. But who knew Todd was a closet guitarist and Richard was a closet cook?
It’s rough being a male celebrity. Women want to marry you, men want to be you and everyone wants to know you. Acting is great but if a celebrity who has earned fame by a skill such as cooking or playing music, it’s a bit more interesting at the dinner table or home with friends versus an actor “reciting their lines”. We didn’t have a chance to put Richard’s skills to work at the dinner table, but he always throws us concert tickets when in town. On the other hand, we were able to enjoy Todd’s fantastic array of gourmet cuisine. Sitting at an intimate country chef’s table adjacet to the kitchen and window boxed herb garden, we feasted on flat bread pizzas with sausage, mushroom chicken and caviar. We sampled a variety of pastas infused with cheeses, pesto and roasted vegatables. We dove into puréed vegetarian appetizers, roasted fish, signature meat dishes and of course, dessert rich in flavor (and probably calories) hosting elements of chocolate, banana, vanilla, fig and orange. We drank champagne, deep red wines and discussed how we should all walk home to burn off calories rather than taxi it.
A bit about Richard: “On 10 October 1989, before the fall of the Berlin Wall he was riding through the subway. When he came above ground, he found himself in the middle of a political demonstration. He was hit on the head and arrested just for being there, and thrown in jail for six days. Once out of jail, he decided to leave East Germany. Because of the Eastern Bloc, he entered West Germany through Hungary. When the Berlin Wall came down, he moved back east of Berlin, Germany.
Rammstein was formed back in 1994 when Richard, who lived with Oliver and Schneider at the time, was looking for a new band in which to create a new style of music. He had left his first band, ‘Orgasm Death Gimmick’ in search of new band mates.”
Aleks DeCarvalho (Founder and partner of No Mystery Studios with Michael Kay) who is a long time friend of Richard’s recited to us how Richard/Rammstein wrote a song called Mein Teil, about cannibalism (the song topped the charts in Germany). Richard elaborated, “The man did not just kill and eat the other man but in fact had full courses over several weeks. One night he would have a part in stuffed cabbage (according to police reports), the next night he would filet and barbecue another portion. He took his time and feasted in a gourmet fashion. It was crazy. On top of it, he sued us from prison because we had taken his story and made it into a top hit in Germany and around the world. It was really fascinating and crazy at the same time.” The band had the opportunity to meet with the convicted murderer-cannibalist at one point, satiating their years of curiosity. Apparently, there were no laws in place for cannibalism during that time, but the over all “murder” conviction would seal the man’s life imprisonment and Rammstein’s top hit. Talk about light dinner conversation!!!
Dessert was finished, the espressos and teas all sipped away as everyone said their goodbyes. Strangers and acquaintances now moved into the friend zone thanks to Todd English and his attentive detail to excellence. Smiles wider, bellies satisfyingly fuller and nice way to catch up after a busy Memorial Day weekend.