by Blair Marlin
I’m beginning to really enjoy my job. This month, I was lucky enough to interview Rob Machado at his home overlooking Cardiff Reef in Cardiff, California. The waves were only about one foot, but completely glassy. He and his wife, Patou, offered to cook me up some homestyle Reunion food while we talked a little about life on the tour and plans for the future.
Blair: With all of the ginger and garlic that you put in your food, do French people have bad breath all the time?
Patou Rob’s wife: That’s not funny!
What’s the name of this meal we’re going to be eating?
Rob:Cari de thon. Right now we are sautéing the garlic, tomatoes, and onions. We also have some mahi mahi tuna fresh from the sea, Seaside Market that is.
You’re not a tofu kind of guy are you?
No. I’ll eat anything, basically. I’m not the guy who only eats steak and doesn’t eat vegetables. The way I see it, when you’re in France, you see people eat all kinds of weird shit and you think it’s sketchy but they’re eating it, so you can eat it, too.
Do you train while you’re at home?
Yeah. I run down to surf Cardiff, which is about 100 yards away. Its a pretty steep hill, though. Coming back after surfing is even harder than going out because you actually have to walk up the hill. Walking the golf course, that’s another one. Ever play eighteen holes, bro? It’s tiring. There’s no cross – training in my life. I got into it in the beginning of this year, running and working out, but it didn’t work.
Obviously, you love to be home, right?
I love being home. I haven’t honestly been here since I left home in May. Every year I’m here from now until February – that’s my time off. Coming home doesn’t count unless you’re home for at least two weeks. While I am home, I enjoy being around my house. I go surfing every day out in front of my house.
Even when the waves are flat?
Oh, yeah! I have a board for every condition. You didn’t see my Skip Frye in the yard?
Would you like to do what Kelly did? Just take a year off?
He’s taking the rest of his life off. I think he’s kinda over it. He’d rather free – surf. We just went on a boat trip and had the best time ever. All those guys who went had never gone on a trip just to surf.
Who all went?
Kelly, Shane, Ross, Gerr, Luke Egan, and myself.
Was Brad Gerlach a big influence on you growing up here?
We talked about it on this trip. Our lives have always been going around in a circle, with us at the opposite ends of the circle. When he was killing it on the tour, I was a grom surfing Seaside. The year before I got on tour, he quit. We’ve been doing that for the last five or six years.
Are the kids today surfing better?
Definitely. The kids are getting better. That’s going to happen no matter what. But sometimes I think they get caught up in the wrong way of getting into it. I hate when I see kids who can do chop – hops, aerials, and tailslides, but they can’t do a normal cutback or roundhouse. I remember seeing Kelly do the first chop – hop as a joke, but when people saw it they freaked and everybody started doing them.
What are you most proud of?
You got me pauses. This guy wrote that I’m an inspiration to all skinny people around the world. I was pretty stoked on that. I’m stoked on some of the heats I’ve had at Pipe with Kelly. Those were pretty magical moments that mean a lot to me, as far as accomplishments go.
What do you want your surfing to stand for?
The legacy? I think it’s difficult for lanky, skinny people to surf and have really good flow and style. Maybe that’s what I’m most proud of.
Thanks a lot Rob and Patou, the meal was amazing. It’s always nice to discover great food you never knew existed. Now I need to go home and brush my teeth. It’s pretty bad when you can smell your own breath!
Vol. 2 #1
File: Makin’ It Cari De Thon Rob and Patou’s recipe for French cuisine.
Prep time: One hour
Recommendations: Serve with white rice and white beans.
Two pounds of fresh tuna
Six small tomatoes
Six small onions or one big onion
Three cloves of garlic
One piece of ginger
One teaspoon of turmeric
One branch of thyme
One tablespoon oyster sauce
Salt to taste
Cut the tuna into small squares and chop the onions and tomatoes. Put garlic, ginger, salt, and chilies into a small blender. Warm up three tablespoons of olive oil in a small saucepan, and sauté the onions. When the onions turn pink, add the garlic, ginger, salt, and chili mixture. Cook for one minute. Add the tomatoes, turmeric, and thyme. Stir gently with a wooden spoon. Add a cup of water and bring to a boil. Add the tuna, stir, and let it cook at medium heat for twenty minutes. Bon appétit!
– Rob and Patou Machado