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Apr 4 / Josh

Love Guster, Don’t Eat Them

guster 8

Today’s interview with Ryan Miller from Guster has led us to believe that a) living in Brooklyn is still awesome and b) most touring musicians have clogged arteries. Between recording the band’s upcoming album and assorted tours, Ryan has evolved into a great cook.

Rockin’ the Suburbs

“I grew up in Texas. My mom cooked. She thinks she cooked more than I think she did. Both my parents worked full time. I was really sheltered, culturally, growing up in the suburban wasteland of Dallas, TX. There were so many things I hadn’t tried – I didn’t have sushi until I was 20. I didn’t have a developed palate at all.”

“I read about chefs and watch the cooking shows. They talk about their parents and their upbringing. I don’t connect in that way. The one exception is chicken fried steak, which I’ll never be able to shake, for as long as I live. Its part of my heritage.”

Learning to Cook

“I started cooking 2 years ago. It was Cooks Illustrated. There was something about it on the cover that said ‘THE BEST MASHED POTATOES EVER’. They explained that ‘we’ve done it 50 ways, and here’s how to do it’. I said ‘Shit, If I follow this recipe then it’ll taste good’. I started cooking stuff, I got the Cooks Illustrated cookbook and I began to follow instructions. They use pretty vetted recipes, if you follow the directions and you don’t screw up too bad, it comes out good. My wife was pretty encouraging. ”

Brooklyn, Brooklyn Take Me In

“When we moved to Brooklyn, that instigated a lot of it. We were in the Lower East Side for a couple of years, but now we have a bigger kitchen and spend more time at home. I got way into cooking. I always talk about, especially in our neighborhood, how ridiculous it is. We have Sahadi’s, Trader Joe’s, those two insanely amazing butchers, a cheese shop [Stinky Bklyn!], and we’re a five minute drive from Fairway. Union Market, they have everything in a pinch, too.”

“It’s so great – I can pick any food: Moroccan, Greek,  etc. and I’m able to find any spices, capers, anything I need. Fairway is probably the single greatest thing about this neighborhood. They have everything, its on the water, you can get those lobster rolls. I’m a real New Yorker in how I cook, I don’t buy groceries for the week, I sort of buy things for dinner at 4pm.  Being around here encourages cooking, you can run out and know you can find anything.”

Ryan’s Regular Restaurants

“In every city in America there is somewhere I love. It’s the first thing I do when I get to a place. I usually get on my bike and just go.”

Ohio – “Skyline Chili is a fast food place. It’s super bad for you and mostly disgusting, but I eat it once a year. Cincinnati chili is weird, it has cinnamon in it and they put it on hot dogs. They do ‘Spaghetti Five Way‘ which is spaghetti, onions, beans, chili and crazy amounts of cheese. It’s the most unhealthy thing you can even look at. I allow myself to do that once a year.”

Boston – “This burger shack, Bartleys’ Burger Shack, in Harvard Square.  It might be my meal before I die. I always get the Yuppie Burger – bacon and Boursin cheese. I usually get that with a lime ricky and the fries.

Brooklyn – “I had a crazy good burger at Fort Defiance in Red Hook. It was all short rib meat.”

Los Angeles – “There’s a Cuban place, Versailles. I get the Number 6. Its garlic lemon chicken and it makes me hurt for a few days.”

Coffee or Tea?

“Coffee. Just straight up, hot or cold. I’ll drink shitty coffee, I don’t care.”

Favorite Dessert

Ryan: “I’m not a dessert guy, but I’ll do a spoonful of peanut butter and Nutella.”

EM: “In the same spoon?”

Ryan: “Yea. It’s pretty disgusting. I have no respect for the sink’’

Worst meal

“In England. Probably all of England. I’ve had one good meal there. It’s just hard to find good food.”

Guilty Pleasure

“I eat ranch dressing with everything. Even on my fries. There’s this restaurant in Dallas called Snuffer’s and they serve these cheese fries with ranch dressing.”


“I like whiskey, I’m a whiskey guy. Single malt, or Jameson. I drink Jameson even though it hurts the next day.”

Favorite Food-ish Band Name


Current Food Staples

“I like buffalo wings a lot. The Frank’s hot sauce and butter combination. I’ll probably have 10 pounds of franks and butter in my arteries. I also get hundreds of frozen dumplings in Chinatown and eat them 3 or 4 times a week.”

In the last few years, the band has been busy with new children, consistent touring and assorted studio time. Guster is almost done mixing their new album, which should be out sometime later this year. They have a few tour dates in the next few months, including an appearance in Atlanta supporting Ben Harper and also at the Hangout Festival in Alabama. Thanks to Ryan and happy eating!

[Note: This article title was creatively copied from Guster's 2003's Itunes-only EP release.]

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  1. Dan / Apr 5 2010

    Detroit-style Coney Island hot dogs FTW!

  2. Haywood Vandel / Dec 16 2010

    Hey your rss feed doesn’t seem to work. Can you please have a look at it and fix it. I like to read your posts as you put them up because I really enjoy your content!

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