“Meat pie” is a phrase that rarely conjures up images of healthy, organic food.
Local Edward Fordyce hopes to change that. His first obstacle is to get people here accustomed to eating meat pies in the first place, as it’s something Americans aren’t used to doing. Having spent his formative years in South Africa, however, he’s regularly snacked on them. Currently, Fordyce’s pies are available frozen at the Food Lounge’s Food Pantry and served hot every Thursday, as well as at various pop-ups. Fordyce told GT about his meat pies, and why one of his favorites doesn’t have meat in it.
How’d you get into making meat pies?
EDWARD FORDYCE: Where I grew up, we didn’t have McDonald’s. If you wanted a bite on the go, you’d have a meat pie. What I’m trying to do is create that same thing, using real food, real ingredients, and making it properly. I used to make them for myself. I bought the puff pastry as a shortcut. Then I realized that the puff pastry had all sorts of funny things in it. So I started to make everything from scratch. I used organic chicken, no antibiotics, free range. None of the bad stuff. So I’ve gone to working with food on a very basic level: the right ingredients. Only the good stuff.
It’s hard for a lot of Americans to think of meat pies as healthy.
Everyone looks at food from a health perspective differently. I’m looking for something that tastes good, feels good and is made from good items. Vegetable oil is probably the worst thing that ever happened to the planet in terms of food. And fructose sugars. So I’m just using good butter, good flours. My meats are from a really good supplier. My pies actually have a lot of protein in them. There’s probably 28 grams of carbohydrates in them. So it’s pretty low. I’m just looking for naturally good foods where there isn’t the mass processing that is what we know as the traditional pot pie in America. Everyone is used to the traditional runny American pot pie. I’m not sure what’s in the pastry. It’s got all kinds of funny stuff. My pies are packed with fillings.
What are your flagship pies?
My three signature pies would be my lamb curry, my vegetable tikka masala—I’m a basic Neanderthal, and I like meat. So I wanted to create a vegetable pie that even I would love. It’s got organic cauliflower, butternut squash, carrots, garbanzo beans, and potatoes, oven roasted with olive oil and sea salt. I take 15 different spices to create this sauce that goes with it. Every time I eat it, it surprises me. The third one is my basic, generic meat pie. It’s like a sloppy joe, but not that sloppy. It’s a basic beefy flavor with a few little extras that I put in it to make it special.
1001 Center St., Santa Cruz. artisanhandfood.com.