8 December: Satie’s selective palate

Every day throughout Advent, the season of overindulgence, we’ll be telling a tale of an overindulgent composer


Composer:    Satie


How indulgent: Selectively indulgent

How: Eric Satie often only ate food that was white in colour, favouring shredded bones, eggs, animal fat, rice, coconut and sugar. Satie’s close friend, Jacques Guérin, wrote, ‘He didn’t like rich food. I think he liked simple dishes. That’s why for dessert he used to refuse things that were too rich.’ However, Guerin also notes that the composer had a particular fondness for aperitifs!

Did you know: Satie often asked for an ‘apple-in-the-air’ – ‘pomme-en-l’air’ – instead of a potato (‘pomme de terre’). But Satie was not only very particular with language; he was also eager to preserve good culinary customs, with Jean Cocteau noting that the composer would never leave a table without taking some brioche to eat, keeping to a custom that had been conveyed to him by food-lovers in Honfleur.

Now indulge yourself with…..  Pieces froides


In this icy season of mists and snow, treat yourself to the humour and merriment of this brief set of piano miniatures. Translating as ‘cold rooms’, Satie had to move into an unheated room in Montmartre, forcing him to sleep fully clothed in order to keep warm!