Vicky Leandros: ‘I’ve never had a man who could cook’

The whole world knows her first passion – of course: singing. But now Vicky Leandros (“I love life”, 55 million records sold) serves her many fans, her second passion.

Vicky Leandros cookbook on the market

The Greek-German singer is bringing out her first family cookbook: “A Cheer for Life” (Gräfe and Unzer, 26 euros) offers 84 recipes of traditional dishes and newly interpreted classics. Time for a delicate conversation with the passionate hobby cook.

AZ: Dear Ms. Leandros, can you cook yourself happily in difficult times?
VICKY LEANDROS: Oh yes! I’m an optimist, cheerful and sociable, but as an artist, everything was suddenly gone for me too. No more concerts, no more audiences, no more trips. That was tough, I’ll admit that. I am not a loner either, I enjoy being with friends and often meet spontaneously for lunch or a glass of wine. I missed that very much, and it was a pain in the ass. I have devoted myself to cooking all the more in the last few months. Even more than usual.

So you also like to cook after you’ve been on stage?
Not immediately afterwards, it is usually after 11 p.m. But then the next day – that gives me peace and strength. I love shopping at the weekly market, reinterpreting recipes that I took over from my grandmother and father, or inventing something completely new.

Cooking gives Vicky Leandros peace and strength

Do you sing while you cook?
Even. Most of the time I hum.

Just your own songs?
No, actually never. I sing them often enough (laughs). I like to sing beautiful Greek songs or old songs by Frank Sinatra, sometimes Michael Bublé or soul classics. Whatever I’m in the mood for right now.

Rúrik Gíslason is bald: did the Icelander cut his hair?


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Love goes through the stomach. With what dish can a man conquer you?
Oh … I’ve never had a man who could cook. So that’s not important to me at all. I love to cook myself. What is important to me in a man: If he is witty, humorous and inspiring – and I can have good conversations with him. I am not happy with the art of cooking alone.

Your absolute favorite food?
Hm, moussaka maybe – also vegetarian with lentils. I really love all of the 84 recipes in the book. What I would like to clarify here …

…Yes, please?
Greek cuisine has a lot more to offer than just gyros and coleslaw. There are so many light summer dishes, including vegetarian dishes, that are a joy.

Vicky Leandros eats vegetarian five times a week

For example?
My friends absolutely love my avocado, which I prepare lightly in French with an egg and lemon mustard vinaigrette, or my fig carpaccio. I myself eat vegetarian four or five times a week, but every now and then I love meat and fish.

Have you also cooked more pasta in the past two years?
Yeah, very, very much. For me there is no life without pasta!

Finally, please have your opinion on the corona policy?
Difficult topic. I would have liked a few more measures at the moment. Politicians shouldn’t just discuss, they should act – and be more courageous.

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