Celebrities Dish Out Their Sandwich-filling Secrets for the Newest Arts and Culture Magazine
Actor John C. Reilly opts for the classic New York bagel with salami and provolone cheese, while songstress Florence Welch prefers a hearty ham and mustard bap in this gloriously kitsch photo story from the inaugural issue of Special Request. An homage to the British snack famously created by the 18th-century Earl of Sandwich, who preferred to eat lunch on the go using his hands, the feature lays out the favorite fillings of model Daisy Lowe, Olympian Jessica Ennis and the GZA, spiritual leader of the Wu-Tang Clan—who leans towards a lean vegetarian option. Taking food culture as a starting point, Special Request aims to dissect modern human culture piece by piece. Creators Paul Sethi, brother Marc—who also photographed today’s exclusive, curated by Sandwich Editor Josh Jones and styled by Nicole Herft—and Tom Viney brought on a top-notch roster of contributors that includes novelist Geoff Dyer discussing American photographer Jacob Holdt, and cultural commentator Jonathan Meades examining the food fads of the 1950s. “We took inspiration from publications such as Wet, released during the 70s, which celebrated water with brash photography and stunning visuals, combined with good, intelligent writing,” explains Paul. “We enlisted the help of photographers who normally work in music and fashion to photograph food, bringing a whole new aesthetic to a journal like this—the whole thing is very pop, colorful and fantastic.”
Blek Le Rat
Pan bagnat from the city of Nice
A reuben from Mishkins
John C. Reilly
The English Songstress Performs a Tale of American Heartbreak in Vincent Haycock's New Video
A relationship falls apart in the desert towns and fog-soaked coast of California as the baroque pop chanteuse and Karl Lagerfeld and Gucci muse Florence Welch takes on a cinematic role in this second collaboration with LA-based director Vincent Haycock. After helming the narrative music video for Welch’s Calvin Harris-produced disco hit “Sweet Nothing”, Haycock wanted to further explore singer’s interest in acting in his film for “Lover to Lover”, the latest single from her hit sophomore album Ceremonials. “She wasn’t just Florence, she was playing a character,” he says. “It was exciting to take someone who’s built such an iconic visual style, with the floaty dresses and distinct look of her videos, and do something really different.” Performing opposite Australian actor Ben Mendelsohn, who stars alongside Brad Pitt in the forthcoming flick, Killing Them Softly, Welch's on-screen interpretation echoes the track’s heart-aching refrain, “There’s no salvation for me now.” Beginning in a drab Los Angeles house and building to a cathartic gospel frenzy, the romance ends as the lovesick heroine disappears amid mist into the Pacific Ocean. “The waves were enormous, it was freezing cold and four in the morning—I was weeping all the way in I was so scared,” recounts the MTV Award-winning singer, laughing. “It was the most intense experience because we shot the whole day before; I went back to the hotel, slept for three hours, woke up and dove into the sea.”
How did the concept for this character come about?
I was going through a phase where I was thinking about what I wanted from life, asking, do I want a husband and a child? Why do I think I need that?
What was it like to film such intense scenes with a proper actor like Ben Mendelsohn?
It was an emotional day and it brought up a lot of things. I’d come to the end of this massive tour and just needed to go home. I was tired and disoriented because Southern California doesn't have seasons--everything's getting cold back home and the leaves are falling but in LA everything’s in this stasis. I think I was screaming, “This isn’t real, I don’t know what’s going on!" and Ben was screaming back, “You’re here, you’re here!”
Did you have a script?
It was completely improvised. I had to think about things that I was actually angry and upset about. It is cathartic, but you have to literally let yourself go. Ben is so sweet and accommodating--afterwards he gave me this massive hug and made me feel so comfortable.
Do you plan to take some time off now?
I’m not going to tour for a year after this one. I’ve been doing it since I was 21 and I think it’s time really to settle into moving out of my mum's! But I’m not going to stop writing. Playing live is my biggest passion, but I’ve got a lot of ideas, and I need the space to work on them.
The Tattooed Master Chef Pays Tribute to the Humble Tuber
Far beyond mashing and frying, the manifold virtues of the potato are explored by the French chef Ludo Lefebvre in this short from filmmaker David Gelb. Often thought of as the godfather of pop-up dining thanks to the success of Ludobites, the LA-based gastronome’s dining experiment that was the hottest meal ticket in town during its various iterations between 2007-2011, Lefebvre initially made a name for himself on the California culinary circuit as the executive chef at two of Los Angeles’ best-regarded establishments, L’Orangerie and Bastide. The French transplant, a recent participant of the Le Grand Fooding Crush festival, has since gained recognition as a competitor on cult cooking shows, Top Chef Masters and Iron Chef America, and his latest venture, Trois Mec, is a collaboration with fellow chefs Vinny Dotolo and Jon Shook, the duo spearheading the meat-heavy joint, Animal. The boys’ new hotspot has been receiving rave reviews for its “casual fine dining” hits like fried salt-and-vinegar buckwheat amuse-bouches to mustard seed-crusted chicken wings, and the restaurant’s kitchen provided the setting for Lefebvre’s potato tasting as captured here by Gelb, the man behind 2011’s unexpected documentary hit, Jiro Dreams of Sushi. The food-happy director spoke to us about hunger, Instagram, and of course, potatoes.
How do you translate the experience of preparing and consuming food into film?
David Gelb: I tend to work with chefs who make amazing-looking food, so that is the bulk of the work. Beyond that, I think the best way is to use the camera to try to mimic the perspective of a hungry person, and then let the audience’s imagination do the rest. We generally keep the camera just above table level, which is what it might look like if you were leaning in and examining your food as it is placed in front of you. Shallow, selective focus helps guide the eye to the most delicious looking parts, which should glow or glisten indicating fatty acids and moisture. In the end, however, it’s really a matter of intuition.
Documenting gastronomic moments has become a global social phenomenon, with images of food proliferating on the likes of Instagram and Facebook. Where do you think this need for us to memorialize and showcase our meal choices comes from?
DG: I think it’s a similar impulse that makes people want to shoot and post pictures and video of concerts and sporting events. There is a certain satisfaction in taking a picture of a perfect morsel and kind of bragging to the world, “I ate that.”
You must have learned a lot about potatoes during filming. Have you tried any new tricks in your own kitchen?
DG: I want to try to make the potato pulp like Ludo does at home. However, I’m a lot better at eating food than making it.