Ricki-Lee & The PSS 20

Late last year I experienced a wonderful and humbling adventure aboard Great Southern Rail's Indian Pacific Christmas Train. We were joined by the talented and fun loving Ricki-Lee who came along to treat the kids of the red centre with intimate acoustic performances. Between her hop off performances for the kids of the outback, I had a chance to sit down with Ricki-Lee and get the low down on all things food, writing inspiration, and why she'll never order a quesadilla in Bali ever again...

The PSS 20 with Ricki-Lee

Guilty foodie pleasure I live a very routine lifestyle so I eat the same thing every day for breakfast, lunch and dinner pretty much...so when I want to indulge my guilty pleasure is carbonara!

All time Favourite city I am obsessed with New York for a number of reasons... It is such an extreme city. All the people are extreme. Everyone is on a mission. Everyone is driven and passionate. They're going somewhere and I love that tenacity in people. There is this electricity in the air that nobody can explain what it is until you're there, and experience it for yourself. I think it's such a special place. Not only is it that electricity in the air but for me as a song writer that's extremely inspiring. I do a lot of my song writing in New York because it stirs something inside of me that is inspiring and motivating. I wrote Can't Touch It in New York about New York and then the fact that it was used in Sex and the City was the coolest thing to ever happen.

Best meal you ever had abroad At Hotel Costes in Paris. I still remember the flavour of it. If I could have one last meal it would be at this place. I would get on a plane and fly there and just eat this meal. I don't even remember what it was called but I think it was rigatoni. This creamy truffle sauce with parmesan and it had field mushrooms. It was spectacular! The greatest thing I've ever had in my life. I'm sad that I'm not eating it right now!

Worst meal you ever had abroad I was in Bali having sunset drinks. We had been drinking long island iced teas all afternoon and I just had a craving for Mexican. Don't ask me why. In Bali, I needed to have Mexican. I saw on the day menu that they do quesadillas. So I pulled one of the guys aside and I was like "oh my gosh can I please have a quesadilla?" He said "sorry, it's only on the day menu" and I was like "I'll give you a hundred bucks, I'm dying for a quesadilla." So then he was like "yeah sure." Silly me should have known. I remember biting into this quesadilla and it just didn't taste right but I wanted it so bad that I just ate it. I thought because I had a few too many drinks, "oh it's fine it's probably just me."

I was the sickest I have ever been my entire life. That'll teach me for being a smart arse.

Your fondest foodie memory is… I love cooking so my favourite memory with food is putting on a big spread for my friends and family. I am such an entertainer. I love having people over and I love making a fuss. I try and do it as often as I can. I have friends over at least once a week when I am home. We have this thing going on with our friends...we would have dinner parties that become like a little competition on who could outdo each other. I go crazy! I am like Martha Stewart. I get right into everything from the food to the settings (and spend all this money on flowers!) I'm in it to win it.

Favourite local coffee house I drink instant coffee. I'm from the Gold Coast so there was no such thing as good coffee on the Gold Coast. We aren't as cultured in coffee because it's so hot and I didn't really start drinking coffee or caffeine until 2010.

The best advice you have ever received One thing my dad always instilled in me was to always know your shit. Be on top of your business. Know what is going on. Don't be blind. He was also the person that told me that anything in the world you want to do, you can do. You're the only person between you and your goals. Don't let anything or anyone tell you you can't do what you believe you can do..

Theme parks or wildlife parks? Well I'm from the Gold Coast and we have the best theme parks. My dad used to take me, he's like a big kid.  When I was around 10 he had a motorbike. Mum would be sleeping in and he would wake up early and open my door and nudge me and be like, "hey do you want to go to dream world?" ...We would sneak out of the house before mum even woke up. We would drive on the motor bike and go to Dreamworld and go on all the rides. This would not be on school holidays and just on a random weekend so would be pretty quiet so we would go around and around on rides. We had hot dogs and hot chips for breakfast and then we'd get home and mum would just be getting up and ask, "where have you guys been?" We'd reply "oh just went to Dreamworld."

Your plane is taking off; you’re on your way to a month long vacation. What are you listening to? A plane is a great place when you're working on an album to listen to mixes and production and give feedback. But other than that I'm more of a movie person or I read magazines.

The three gadgets you can’t travel without My camera, iPhone and Beats headphones.

What do you miss the most while you’re away? My bed and my pillow. I even brought my own pillow on the train with me.

Your most luxurious travel experience so far I am very lucky, I get to have luxurious experiences all the time. We went to the Maldives and stayed in an incredible villa with it's own pool that would step down into the ocean. That was pretty spectacular. We also had a butler that would do anything you want at any given time.

When I’m away from home, something I miss the most is… My friends. I'll miss our daily chats and catchups.

Your Airline of choice I'm a Virgin girl. I love Virgin. They're young, fresh and energetic. The staff have a good attitude and are always friendly.

The most underrated city in the world I am biased. I love the Gold Coast. I think they get a bad wrap but we have great beaches, great restaurants and entertainment.

Best thing you ever purchased while traveling Black Chanel knee length coat.

You finally have a day off, what are the first three things you do to unwind? Sleep in until until I wake up, get a massage and do nothing like watch movies and make playlists.

The perfect weekend away includes… Me and Rich going somewhere where there is good food and wine.

Your dream destination Italy and Greece.

Your next trip Once we get to Perth we jump in a car and drive down to the beautiful Margaret River.

Click here for more of an insight on the Outback Christmas Train.

Follow Ricki-Lee Facebook: www.facebook.com/THErickilee Twitter:@THErickilee Instagram: @THErickilee

Photography by Quentin Jones www.jonesphoto.com.au

Elaine interviewed Ricki-Lee aboard the Indian Pacific as a guest of Great Southern Rail.