The morning routine of Michael Zavros
This is how your morning unfolds when you’re a leading creative, live on a farm and need to get a young family ready for school. Coffee is a constant.
Admittedly the intended structure of Michael Zavros’s mornings can be completely thrown out (or adapted) pending the needs of his little people. But if there’s one constant it’s that he’ll always wake up hungry.
Along with wife Alison, they’re dishing up the family eggs in some form – care of the chickens in the backyard, but when there’s a little more time up his sleeve, and the school run isn’t so pressing, he’ll make a mean omelette. The coffee has and will always be made on the stove, drunk black (he’s allergic to dairy) and sipped slowly throughout the morning. Here is how his day begins, before he’ll head down to the studio.
I’m normally waking up between… 5 and 6am.
I am very much a morning person so prying out from under the covers is… not really a mean ordeal, except when it’s cold, which come to think of it doesn’t really happen in Brisbane all that much. I do always wake up hungry. I’m always hungry. I’ve been told I’m a grazer.
Once I’m up… I’m up pretty quickly, mainly as (and this is a little gross) I have this strong desire to brush my teeth straight away. I have a foul old mouth guard I wear to bed, it’s a bit smelly, but does the job by keeping the teeth in line!
Next I… Make green tea in a big cast iron teapot, we got in Japan a few years ago. Then I’ll go and feed the chickens, and retrieve the eggs. We’ve got too many to count at the moment and our girls are sent to school with eggs for the teachers. It’s a real surplus in the warmer months. I’ll then take a check of my emails and work through any that need to be responded too. That said, with three young children, this whole routine could be thrown out of whack at any given time, considering what they’re up to, nightmares pending etc.
If I’m exercise inclined… I’ll leave it until late in the afternoon. I used to swim but now I’ll go for a jog along the roads near our home. My running style has been described as a ‘leisurely cloud like gait’, and but I imagine I look like a boxer out training.
Then it’s on to breakfast… which is always eggs because its not true that eggs make you have a cholesterol problem. We’re into omelets right now, or a good egg and soldier. We try to make the kids have eggs too, but they’re a bit sick of them (thanks to the oversupply). Phoebe (8) is reverting to gorgonzola and tomato on toast. She’s picked up her preference for strong flavours from European artist residencies.
If we change it up a little… We’ll do pancakes on birthday mornings or if we’ve all been well behaved add some bacon in there too. It’s a little Canadian nod, but Ali found amazing German style bacon the other day and it’s just got delicious levels of fat in it.
I really love to use… Cheese in the morning too, because, and this might sound odd but the taste is ‘wakey upy’. It’s a strong flavour and I love a good kick early on in the day. Some will leave theirs for later on, but I want mine right away.
I’m drinking… Espresso made on the stovetop with Di Bella beans, and will probably have two at breakfast and another two throughout the morning. I won’t have anything else. We’re very much a coffee centric household.
On a weekend, if I have a little more time to make a dish… It’ll be this really big elaborate omelette that we call the ‘Barcelona Bastard’. We’d make them while living there, putting in copious amounts of potato and chorizo chunks. Kind of like a Spanish tortilla. Often a Sunday night staple too.
If I’m off for a breakfast meeting or catch up… I’ll go wherever the other party dictates! But, on a Sunday morning I do like a hamburger from the Chandler Markets with the works. Continetal Café in Brisbane used to do a breakfast menu sourced the world over, with options like Spanish, Scottish or Norwegian.
By 10am I’m… Onto my third coffee, painting in the studio down the back from our house (where I’ve hopefully been for the past two hours)and listening to Books and Art Daily with Michael Cathcart on Radio National. I’ll base my progress in the day according to the program that’s on and aim to hit specific targets according to their schedule.
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