When Kate Bush joined celebrity chef Delia Smith to talk vegetarianism in 1980
We love Kate Bush here at Far Out Magazine, we’re not afraid to say it. But where we’ve found huge admiration for her unstoppable artistry and musicality, we missed another crucial component to her brilliance. She’s a top chef too.
Digging through the Far Out vault we found this curious clip from 1980 of Bush talking with celebrity chef Delia Smith has just made us fall even more deeply in love with the singer.
At the time, Kate Bush would have been a mere footnote in Delia Smith’s illustrious career. Like Britain’s Martha Stewart, Smith introduced Britain to much of its food revolution during the decade as British cuisine began to pull itself free from the wartime gloop it had become.
The footage below comes from Smith’s cooking show Delia Smith’s Cookery Course and sees Kate come to the garden of Smith to talk about vegetarianism (a still rather unusual thing back then) and some of her favourite dishes. Kate even helps to create an incredible looking Waldorf Salad and offer some advice to Delia on how to cook rice: “You just add salt to water, really,” — another genius move.
It would follow a run of genius moves for Bush who, in 1980, was one of the world’s most creative and captivating artists. In 1978, her debut single ‘Wuthering Heights’ had become the first self-written number one by a female artist.
In support of that traction, Bush went out on tour. Her 1979, ‘Tour of Life’ had been met with a fever pitch of exclamations on her talent. In 1980, she was crowned as the first British female solo artist to top the UK album charts, and the first female solo artist ever to enter the UK album chart straight in at No.1 for her album Never For Ever. Kate Bush was a bonafide pop star.
That fact makes it all the more surreal to see Kate Bush talking Delia Smith through her favourite salad recipes. But then again, should we be surprised, this is British television, after all, an institution built on the most awkward of foundations.
Clearly, though, Bush was a rather welcomed guest, despite Delia’s consternation, as she offers some vital tips for any Waldorf Salad-lovers out there. “I notice you’ve left the skins on the apples and I like that,” says Delia. “Yes, there’s so much natural goodness in the skins,” the wise Bush responds, offering up her cooking knowledge.
The cooking tips don’t end there either as Bush also offers up some top tips for vegetarians looking for some extra protein: “There are things that I think people miss out on because they think there’s a very select area where you use nuts but I think you can use them in anything.” She continues: “You can just sprinkle them over salads, which is fantastic,” Delia still a little bemused adds.
Bush offers another idea too “in fact it’s quite nice by itself. It makes you feel a bit like a parrot.”
The tips come after Kate starts the section with a view on her new-found vegetarianism confessing that “I didn’t have a clue you know, I had no idea what I could eat”. While this sentiment may feel quite alien to us now 40 years on, in 1980, vegetarianism was still an unusual concept and Bush’s knowledge and education was probably largely the first time much of the public had been introduced to the concept outside of the McCartneys.
Bush offers up the moment she decided to become a vegetarian: “One day I had a stew and there was a bit of meat in the stew and it was so raw that I just identified immediately that this was an animal and I just thought, ‘No, I’m not into this’” It’s the opening sentiment of a very strange but extremely watchable piece of television.
So, sit back and enjoy, as Kate Bush talks to Delia Smith about Vegetarianism and her favourite dishes.