My Love . . . Of Sandwiches – An Interview with Arkaik

“Cause I’m so much in loooove with you . . . “

Wow, what a romantic guy Arkaik has turned out to be!  Don’t be fooled by his strong, silent exterior, deep down there’s an all consuming passion burning within.  A love so strong in fact, that it became the focus of not only his most incredible track to date but influenced the title of his most most recent ‘My Love EP’ on Flexout Audio.

“What could this incredible muse possibly be!?” I hear you ask.  A lucky lady?  A picturesque Asian landscape?  A brainwashing cult perhaps?  No, truth be told the driving force behind the ‘My Love EP’ is Arkaik’s un fathomable love . . . of sandwiches.

Before meeting Arkaik I didn’t think it possible for a man to be so passionate about meat between two slices of bread but it seems there’s a whole parallel sandwich universe out there that I’m yet to discover.  So sit back and roll up a Jeffrey (if that’s your thing) because Arkaik and I are about to get our bake-on (get it? ;))

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Yes Arkaik, nice to have you with us!  First and foremost big ups on your latest EP, we’ve been loving it here at In-Reach HQ.  You must be chuffed with the response you’ve had so far!?

Yeah, it seems to have gone down really well!  It’s great to get so much feedback from people and it’s driven me to focus more on my production which is always great.

I’m guessing that more drive for production means more time in the studio, and more time in the studio must mean more studio snacks, right?  What would you say is your ULTIMATE studio sandwich and why?

Easy.  Ham and cheese toastie.  When you’re in the studio and you’re rolling out the creativity you’ve got minimal time to make food and the ham and cheese toastie is the perfect quick snack.  It’s fast to execute and it’s perfect in all weather; summer, winter, raining outside, the toastie always hits the spot.

Ok, I hear ya.  As a vegan I’m not sure I’m fully on the ham and cheese toastie thing so you’re going to have to sell it to me and I’m talking some real Mark’s & Spencer’s advert shit.  Describe the perfect ham and cheese toastie, from the bread to the choice of filling.

Ok, right it’s gotta be white, crusty, farmhouse . . . No, actually fuck it, Warburton’s square white bread, simple, it’s just the best white bread that’s square, because you have to use square bread in a toastie to get that classic toastie taste.  Next you’ve got to find the ham, and really it all comes down to personal choice, as it does with the cheese.  Now you could use wafer thin ham BUT where it’s pumped full of water it’s going to fuck your toastie right up so you need some nice, thick, honey roast ham – 2 slices of that.  Then on to the cheese.  If im feeling flamboyant (which I often am) I go for some buffalo mozzarella because it melts quickly and gives you that ‘pizza like’ quality to your toastie.  Generally though I go for some Gouda (pre sliced to save on cutting time) then put it together and whack it in a toastie maker/George Foreman/hot plate (if you’re a G) and then pow!  Three minutes later, heaven.

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Yeah, I hear what you’re saying but if I’m honest with you I feel like this has been a bit of an anti climax so far, I heard you were something of a sandwich connoisseur and so far all you’ve given us is a ham and cheese toastie, I want to hear about the real deal, the big guns!  What’s been your most extravagant sandwich to date?

Listen, that was just a quick draw, no time sandwich, if ive got an afternoon to prepare then there are much bigger and better things that can be invented such as a little something I like to call “The Hollow Loaf”.  Now this is pretty much the pie of sandwiches, basically you get a farmhouse loaf (the bigger the better) and what you wanna do is you wanna chop off the very end of the loaf, just enough to fit your hand in and pull all the bread out of the middle.  Once you’ve excavated the bread you have the base of “The Hollow Loaf”.  Like all good sandwiches, you’ve got to have butter in it.  If you’re a margarine fan I recommend “Olivio” spread, made from the finest olive oil or if (like me) you’re more of a butter man then use Lurpak spreadable . . .

But how do you butter it if you can only just fit your hand in? . . .

Just use a long table knife like you’d butter a normal sandwich with.  Umm, you’ve ruined my flow now . . . Once you’ve buttered it you want to start layering your favourite filling.  For me, I like to start with meat and work through to the salad, so start with wafer thin honey roast ham, we’re talking a good centimetre at least at the bottom of the loaf, then squirt in some mayo (making sure you get in round the back and all the hard to reach places) then go in with some sliced chicken breast, a sprinkle of paprika, then get your salad involved.  By this point your meat selection should be taking up a good half a loaf. To start the salad selection you need cucumber, use this first so you get that middle layer crunch, followed by tomatoes (for a juicy middle), red pepper, radishes and last but not least iceberg lettuce, making sure you’ve filled it right to the top.  Then pow, you’ve got the biggest sandwich ever. Could potentially even last 2 meals, if you’re on a diet.

If I remember rightly, farmhouse loaves are bloody massive!  How on earth do you eat this!?  Do you take a chainsaw to it or just go in raw and shred your lips to pieces?

Just go in raw!!  You could slice it in half first just to . . . you know . . . see what’s happening inside or whatever.

Are you crazy!?  This sounds like a full on meal, not just a sandwich!  Please tell me you don’t eat these for breakfast . . .

No, for breakfast I like to start off lightly with a muffin.  A breakfast muffin sandwich, I mean.  Now, I love a full fried breakfast but sometimes you just don’t have the time so I make a quick little muffin to get me through to my next sandwich break.  Basically you need some big, high quality muffins, some thick back bacon, a Korean technology egg (a what now!?) some pre sliced Gouda and some Heinz ketchup.  You wanna layer it muffin, bacon, cheese, egg, ketchup then muffin.  Sometimes if I’ve run out of muffins I’ll fry up two hash browns and use them instead of bread.

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Now, a little birdie told us that you recently moved to Shanghai in China.  Is there a particular sandwich that you miss the most from back home?

Funny you should ask that actually because yes there is!  My second greatest love is sausages and THE BEST sausages you can buy are Porky Whites (big shout out to the Porky White crew!) These bangers are where it’s at!  Combine the Porkies with a Sainsbury’s (gotta be Sainsbury’s, Lidl’s are shite) part baked baguette and you’re on to a winner.

Cooking instructions, basically fry the sausages until they’re a nice brown colour, bake the baguette, bit of butter, bit of your favourite condiment, mine being ketchup then done . . . . Ahh man, I really want one now!

Imagine for a moment, if you will, that you’d just met the woman of your dreams and invited her back to your place for lunch. You can see in her eyes that she’s a sandwich lover too so you know you’ve only got one chance to impress her, what sandwich would you choose from your repertoire?

That depends, is she a fitness freak? Or maybe she’s a breakfast girl? Do you know what I mean, I’d have to know the girl . . . You might be able to tell by her eyes that she likes a sandwich but I can only tell by her body and her boobs what she likes in that sandwich.

Fair shout! Let’s say she’s a more mature lady, I don’t want to say Pat Butcher but something along those lines.  Most of her teeth are her own . . . .

Now I’m thinking corned beef . . . No, I’d never put that in a sandwich.  If it’s a Pat Butcher style lady then she’s obviously a Londoner, probably likes her cafe food, bit on the chubby side, I’m leaning towards . . . Actually, I wouldn’t even date a woman like that!  She’d probably want a fucking shepherds pie and black pudding sandwich or something.  I wouldn’t even give her a sandwich, I’d give her half a sandwich, beans on toast or something, that’ll do.

We’d just like to send our apologies out to any of Pat Butcher’s family that might be reading this interview, these are Arkaik’s personal thoughts and feelings and do not in any way represent that of the In-Reach mandem.

Just before we go Arkaik, any advice for the up and coming sandwich connoisseurs out there?

Go with your heart and don’t let anyone tell you different, any food you want, try it out.  I once had an ice cream toastie and it was buff.

And lastly, any shoutouts?

Shout out to my mum for getting me into ham and cucumber sandwiches at a young age. Also, ‘Elevenses’ sandwich shop in North Camp for sorting out my lunch times through college. Shout out to Waitrose for the ploughman’s and lastly bigging up M&S for The Club. Also shout out to Pret A Manager each and every.
Hands up if you had to go and have a cheeky little sandwich break? I went for a bagel personally. As mentioned earlier, Arkaik’s latest ‘My Love EP’ (Flexout Audio) has been merking dance floors world wide so if you haven’t got it yet then step to it! Available from all good download stores including the Flexout Audio Bandcamp page, while you’re there I’d highly recommend checking the back catalogue as its a bit naughty! Until next time, peace 🙂 x

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