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Food for Rock

Kevin Young

November 13, 2020

There’s no end of music themed eateries and musically inspired nibbles. Regardless of your culinary quirks or taste in music, chances are you’ll find something that is just the right kind of jam for you.

Let’s start with one of the world’s greatest rock and roll icon’s favourite meals…

Elvis Presley absolutely loved deep-fried banana sandwiches, but he was also a huge fan of Fool’s Gold Loaves, so much so he allegedly once took his private plane on a midnight munchie run from Memphis to Denver’s Colorado Mine Company and ordered up a mess of them for himself and his entourage. As sandwiches go, these are not for the faint of heart, literally – with each ‘sandwich’ containing a full jar of jam and jar of peanut butter as well as a pound of bacon; all nestled between the halves of an entire loaf of bread.

If you really want to tuck into this subject, perhaps the best approach is to whip up one of your favourite artist’s favourite recipes. You can fry up some old school eats from one of the many vintage cookbooks available. As vintage cookbooks go, Roberta Ashley’s 1967 effort, Singers and Swingers in the Kitchen is particularly groovy and features belly busters like Barbara Streisand’s Instant Coffee Ice Cream and The Stones’ Hot Dogs On The Rocks.

Or you can check out more recent culinary collections by musicians themselves, which offer relatively straightforward menus all the way to backwoods to table affairs like Ted Nugent’s Kill It & Grill It; perfect if you’re craving ‘Hasenpfeffer by Glock’ or ‘Squirrel Casserole’. 

If you want to eat like a rock star, you’re only a Google search away from finding a dish (or a genre) to suit – see Jazz Cooks: Portraits and Recipes of the Greats by Bob Young, Mother Maybelle’s Cookbook: A Kitchen Visit With America’s First Family of Country Song by June Carter Cash, or Snoop Dogg’s From Crook to Cook: Platinum Recipes From Tha Boss Dogg’s Kitchen.

Snoop’s recipe for Billionaire’s Bacon may read like a heart attack in a pan, but it’s only one of many music-inspired concoctions that’s hard on the arteries. You can pretty much eat your way through any given playlist starting, let’s say, with a Fat Elvis or Bat Out of Hell sandwich. There’s even a 10-course feast inspired by Radiohead’s Kid A album. Not heavy enough for your taste? Try the Danzig Juicy Lucifuge, a Slayer Pizza or one of these other unearthly delights.

You can literally ask ‘Chef Google’ any question about musicians and food and get a truly thorough answer. Seriously, just try: ‘What do metalheads eat for breakfast?’ or ‘Do Foreigner’s Tom Jones and Whitesnake’s David Coverdale have differing opinions on Quinoa?’

Chances are you’re not going to get an invite to dinner with the family from multi-platinum selling hitmakers or rock legends, but there’s nothing to stop you from tucking in at one of their restaurants. You might want to double check that there’s still a table available, however, as even some fairly successful artist-owned establishments have ended their run or changed hands.  You’re too late to scoff down Nightmare Nachos at Alice Cooperstown, and Celine Dion no longer owns Nickel Grill, but still, there’s no shortage of artist-themed restos and bars.

Take Sydney Australia’s The Carter, which pays tribute to all thing hip-hop (and to Jay-Z/Beyonce specifically) and The Stone Roses Bar in Leeds. There are plenty of other choices as well, among them eateries that are still going strong even though the artists they’re inspired by have passed on: Austin’s Mean-eyed Cat (conceived as a culinary homage to Johnny Cash), Lemmy’s Lounge in LA, and Ziggy’s Café and Bar in Blackpool to name just a few. Unsurprisingly, The Beatles – themselves named for an alternative source of protein come to think of it – have their fair share in the U.S.

Granted, you may prefer to dine at home and whip up your own version of one of the many more classic recipes. In fact, why not make a day of it?

May we suggest:

Breakfast: Eggs Berlioz with a side dish of fresh Jenny Lind Melon

Lunch: Jansson’s Temptation and Peach Melba for afters.

Dinner: a bowl of Bizet Consomme with crumbled Melba Toast to start, followed by Tournedos Rossini and Rigó Jancsi for dessert.

Still hungry? Put on your classical radio station of choice, curl up in your favourite chair, and indulge your sweet tooth with some Mozartkugeln as a late-night snack.

If that’s too much prep for one day, just skip breakfast and make yourself a more modern sandwich – like Chromeo’s Hot Mess or Paul Oakenfold’s The Pop Killer.

With so many links and recipes and bars and restaurants to choose from we have to stop somewhere, but here a few other options to explore on your own, including classic artists’ favourite foods, recipes and restaurants, as well as some specifically hip-hop inspired dishes

Some are perfect compositions – truly music to your mouth. Others, as compelling as they are, are a dubious cacophony of flavours. Either way, indulge in too many of the above and you’re going to need to go on the Dolly Parton Diet.

Also, have you ever wanted to hear your music as the soundtrack for a meal at your favourite restaurant?  With Play MPE‘s Caster, you can send your music directly to the music curators who create playlists for restaurants and retailers. Tasty!

Photo by Jorge Fakhouri Filho from Pexels

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