Neal and I go way back, and we were already friends when he agreed to do this interview. We still make a point of sharing a good meal whenever I visit Austin. He’s still writing and just released his book Pot Head in 2020. He is also the Editor of the cultural review site, Book and Film Globe. Fun fact: Neal is one of the top winners on the game show Jeopardy!
Neal Pollack is known both as “The Greatest Living American Writer” and “Alternadad”. He is proof that an author can be a “rockstar” in every sense of the word. In 2003, he toured with his band, The Neal Pollack Invasion, to support his book, Never Mind the Pollacks. Neal also happens to be passionate about cooking and fine dining. Go buy his books. You’ll enjoy them.
About the interview
This interview took place in Neal’s home in Austin, TX. Regina is Neal’s wife, who kindly allowed us to invade her kitchen at dinnertime. It’s interesting that in my one interview with an author, we spent a lot of time looking at books.
Neal Pollack’s Simple Seafood Soup
Recipe can be doubled. Serve with simple salad.
- 1 lb. mixed fish
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 1 small can (14 oz.) diced tomatoes
- 1 chopped onion
- 2 chopped celery stalks
- 4 crushed and chopped garlic cloves
- 3-4 sprigs thyme, whole
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 spiral orange peel
- Generous splash Pernod
- Splash of white wine
- Salt & pepper
- Simmer stock and tomatoes in soup pot.
- Meanwhile, in separate pot, saute in olive oil the onion, celery, garlic, thyme, bay leaves, and orange peel, with Pernod and wine. When vegetables are soft, add stock.
- When stock simmers, add fish. Lay fish carefully into pot to poach. You can add shrimp and scallops in place of, or in addition to, fish.