Good Afternoon Austin! Thank you so much for talking with Battered and Brewed!What was life like growing up in Evansville, IN?
I actually grew up in a small farm town outside Louisville, Kentucky and later went to school in Evansville. I loved growing up in a small town where everyone knew your name, but living near the city definitely inspired my passion for doing something bigger in music. I grew up with three older sisters which definitely inspired my love for food. I grew up in a very supportive household and played just about every sport under the sun.
What are some of the family recipes you grew up with?
My family is actually Cajun. So a lot of our recipes were very Southern inspired. We made dishes like jambalaya, red beans and rice, shrimp and grits, etc.
Was there ever music playing in the kitchen growing up?
Always. We had a huge variety of music, ranging from Peter Frampton, Dave Mathews Band, Garth Brooks, Kenny Chesney, and Michael Jackson. We also listened to a lot of Christian music. I never remember a time where music wasn’t playing in my house. One of my favorite memories was dancing around the kitchen with my mom.
How did you get interested in cooking and fitness?
I became interested in cooking at a young age, which primarily arose from my desire to have dinner ready for my parents before they got home from work. My parents worked hard to support our family, and I wanted to show them my appreciation. I started getting interested in fitness after putting on weight during my early college years. I started working as an intern for a healthy food prep company and I was quickly promoted to Executive Chef for the company. During this time I was trained by one of the best chefs in Evansville and still credit him for much of what I have learned in the kitchen. As I became more interested in fitness I decided to pursue competitive body building, which led me to an unhealthy relationship with food because of the restrictions I put on myself in order to compete. I became very knowledgeable about food and nutrition because of my education. During this time, I was pursuing a degree in food and nutrition. All of this led me to start my company, Train with Austin LLC, so that I could help others to achieve their fitness goals in a more balanced and healthy way. It has been a year since I originally started the company and I am blessed to have helped many people.
What’s your favorite ingredient to cook with?
What is your signature dish? Can we get the recipe?
Get yourself some Brussels. Cut them into halves. Fry up some bacon, throw the Brussels in with some soy sauce, garlic, salt, pepper, and balsamic vinegar. Cook until soft, and then add some fresh mint. ENJOY!
Going out to eat so often on tour, you are probably eating a lot of foods that are “heavier” and cooked with unknown ingredients and amounts. I know a lot of people have a hard time feeling like they can be “healthy eaters” while going out to eat. How do you maintain a balance of eating healthy while going out to eat so much?
Staying active is a huge factor for me. I strive to aim for an 80/20 balance between healthy and unhealthy foods. I’m actually a huge advocate of a concept called flexible dieting. This is basically a concept that allows you to stay flexible with your food choices while remaining on track with your fitness goals. I actually wrote a book about this topic, and it can be found here:
What’s the most memorable meal you have had being on tour?
I went to an amazing restaurant in Nashville called Pharmacy. I had the most insane burger I have ever had in my life. First off, it was huge. I know it. You know it. We all know it. Lol. It had three different types of cheese, bacon, and a egg. Basically everything that’s good in life between two buttered buns. And of course, I washed it down with an ice cold beer.
For fun, can you give an example of a “typical day” of eating for you, whether you are going out with friends or cooking at home?
My favorite breakfast in the world is an omelet. If I am rushing out the door, I am more likely to grab a protein bar. My go-to for lunch is a sandwich, usually from Subway if I am on the go. I’ve ordered the same thing from Subway for 2 years, a foot long Black forest ham sub on wheat, with just about every vegetable under the sun and spicy yellow mustard. To fuel me throughout the day, I like to snack on Cliff Bars and Lenny and Larry’s Cookies. Typically I don’t eat out, but if I go out with friends, my meal will usually involve beer and pizza. If I do have time to cook at home, one of my favorite meals is salmon marinated in my girlfriend Emily’s incredible teriyaki glaze. This is usually accompanied with sautéed Brussel sprouts, potatoes, and bacon. And trust me, I can make Brussel sprouts taste incredible.
What do you avoid or try to avoid so you can keep fit?
I don’t restrict myself from much of anything, other than milk and whey protein, because I am allergic. I believe “everything in moderation” is key.
What food is your food vice? You know, one you sneak in a little extra of when no one is looking.
Cookies. Once I start eating them I can’t stop.
Which three things are always in your home refrigerator?
Wine, fat free ranch dressing, and eggs.
Aside from your passion for food, fitness, and music, what’s the one thing that really keeps you ticking?
My excitement to have a family and experience a life surrounded by those that I love.
You have just moved to Nashville, where are some of the places you can’t wait to eat?
Hattie B’s, Monell’s, and the Stillery.
You have a new song out “Unexpected Memories.” Tell us a little about that song.
“Unexpected Memories” is about the time’s in our lives that we never expected to happen. It seems to me that these always seem to be the most special time’s in our lives. What I love about this song is that it is a song that everyone can relate to.
With being in Nashville now, do you think you will see a difference in yourself with writing and in your music?
Absolutely. There are so many talented people that can help take my writing to a different level. Being in a city that is so saturated with music will be an inspiration in itself.
What can we look forward to in 2017?
Lots of incredible new music, a chance to get to know the real Austin Peckham, and all of the fun adventures that come with living in such an awesome city.
Finally for Battered and Brewed, if you could have a beer with anyone, who would it be and what would you have?
I would have a beer with Luke Bryan so I could say I “drank a beer” with Luke Bryan. We would drink Coors Light, not that fancy stuff.
About Austin Peckham: