One for the road: Country band shares favorite foods | Chef Dez

Sep 06, 2017
Courtesy of: Chef Dez Chef Dez with members of Canadian country band The Road Hammers.

I love being a chef. Food is a universal language that touches the lives of almost everyone. No matter what road of life one travels along, chances are they can appreciate a good meal.

If you know my wife Katherine and I, you will know we not only love food but also music. Recently we had the pleasure of meeting Canadian country rock group The Road Hammers – composed of band members Jason McCoy, Clayton Bellamy and Chris Byrne. They are currently touring to promote their latest album, “The Squeeze,” which was released May 12.

We have always been fans of their music, so it was interesting to chat with them, not only about music, but their eating habits, too. Therefore, I am happy to share parts of our conversation with you for a glimpse of what the culinary lives of these musicians are like. The first question I had for them was, “What do you tend to eat while on the road touring?”

Jason: “We're pretty good at trying to avoid junk because we've all toured so many years. When you're younger, you can eat anything you want – steak, potatoes, that kind of thing.

“For some reason, a steak makes me feel good. My subconscious reminds me that I want protein. It's also a comfort-food kind of thing. Butter chicken is my other thing. It’s awesome because it seems like the curry kind of smartens everything up in your world.”

Clayton: “Indian food and sushi. I like to venture outside of the box.”

Chris: “I think it's interesting to find great little hole-in-the-wall kind of restaurants that are not standard box-store restaurants.”

Chef Dez: “You've been on the road for a while; if someone could welcome you home with a meal, what would you choose?”

Jason: “Anything my wife makes. She's got the gift. Her spaghetti is stellar. Her hamburgers are magic.”

Clayton: “My mom's zucchini casserole. That is the ticket. It's carrots, zucchini and cheese – lots of cheese. And she puts croutons in there, as well.”

Chris: “Chickpeas and Spolumbo's sausage roasted with fresh rosemary and little baby tomatoes. Spolumbo's is a company in Calgary. It's a spicy Italian sausage, like a chorizo almost.”

Chef Dez: “What are your favorite dishes from your childhood?”

Jason: “My mother's salmon casserole. There’s rice, and it's got cheese all through the rice, and a layer of salmon. And then it's got cheese with green olive in it. Then there’s a bit of cheese crusted on top. It's incredible.”

Clayton: “My grandmother's perogies when I was a kid. She's right from the old country. There’s something about the dough and the way it was prepared.”

Chris: “Mom's homemade bread. Growing up in Newfoundland, we didn't buy store bread. We had it fresh out of the oven with a little bit of jam on it.”

Chef Dez: “When you get a chance to cook, what is your signature dish that you like to make?”

Jason: “I'm not much of a cook. I'm more of a campfire cooker kind of guy. My kids would starve if it was up to me. My wife's the Gretzky of cooking, so it's like how do I get in there and say oh I'll make dinner tonight? I'm best at making chocolate milk.”

Clayton: “I do have a go-to. I like to make this bow-tie pasta with capers, fresh basil, baby tomatoes, and mix it all up with some olive oil and sea salt. My kids love that. I'll make a huge pot of it and it'll last all week.”

Chris: “It's a pasta, as well. It's a couple of onions, capers, Kalamata olives, a lot of olive oil, cherry tomatoes or some sundried tomatoes, if you’ve got them kicking around.”

I hope you enjoyed this exclusive culinary peek at the lives of these talented guys. Make sure you take a listen to their latest album. We have all their music and love it. Until next time, happy cooking!


Gordon Desormeaux aka Chef Dez is a chef, writer and host serving the Pacific Northwest. Visit him at Write to him at or P.O. Box 2674, Abbotsford, BC V2T 6R4.

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