Interview with
Chef Darren Staats
Early 2001

Updated February 5, 2001

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In early January 2001, Toriphile Neil Alexander alerted me to an interview posted on the U.K. web site with a chef named Darren Staats. He is a chef that cooks for bands and roadcrew on tour. He tours around Europe and the U.S. and has worked with many big named acts including Madonna. He apparently served as Tori's chef on at least one of her concert tours. I am not sure if he was her chef on more than one tour, and the interview does not say. The context seems to indicate that he was the chef on Tori's 1998 Plugged tour. In any case, the interview states that Darren came out as a gay man at the age of 32 during Tori's tour, and in response to that Tori wrote the song "Riot Poof", which later appeared on her 1999 album "to venus and back". Darren talks a little about the song and coming out while serving as Tori's chef on tour. I have included the Tori parts of the interview below. You can read the entire interview at the U.K. web site.

By the way, many people had reached the conclusion that Tori wrote Riot Poof for crew member and sound man Marcel Van Limbeek. However, this conclusion, which is commonly stated online, has never to my knowledge been backed up with proof from a Tori interview. Marcel was mentioned as the person "Riot Poof" was written for in an article that appeared in the Dutch music magazine OOR on September 18, 1999. But I don't think that article is correct, and I think the evidence favors Darren being the who the song was written for. Toriphile Ben also points out that the "to venus and back" liner notes at one point have listed, "Daz: Riot Poof", which also seems to support Dareen Staats as the subject of the song.

How can Madonna eat sticky toffee pudding and stay so thin? And just why did Sporty Spice spread? Darren Staats probably knows the answers but he's playing his cards close to his chest.

Darren is a chef who cooks for bands and roadcrew on tour. He tours round Europe and the US and has worked with most bands you can name, the latest of which was 'that gig' at Brixton by Madonna.

He is reportedly a great chef, which is why the likes of M People and Erasure keep coming back for more. He is charming, boyishly handsome, funny and disarmingly honest, in other words, the sort of bloke you'd want to come and cook for you every night.. if you had the money. It's no wonder that a certain pop star has written a song about him.

Darren only came out two years ago at the ripe old age of 32. No-one had any idea that he was gay, but that all changed on a Tori Amos tour around America.

He met his current partner, Jonathan, through the chat rooms and it's a lurve thang. Julie Devine tracked him down on a rare day off in London between Madonna and Richard Ashcroft, to ask him a few questions.


Julie: So why did you choose the Tori Amos tour to come out?

Darren: I fell in lust with a straight guy and I lost the plot and had to get it off my chest. I told my mate Tam and she persuaded me it was now or never on coming out. It was a real weight off my shoulders on the tour, but the weight came right back on when I had to face all my friends and family back home. I haven't lost a single friend so far; I'm very proud of that.

Julie: So who wrote a song about you?

Darren: Because I was cooking for Tori Amos when I came out,she wrote a song about me. It was called Drama Queen which when translated into Dutch and back into English becomes Riot Poof, so that's what she called it.

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