Monday, 12 December 2011

Love Music Love Food: The Rock Star Cookbook

Sing-for-soup days couldn't be further from the minds of the influential contemporary musicians contributing to this impressive rock-food-portraits book.

The brainchild of renowned food photographer Patrice de Villiers, The Rock Star Cookbook was published late last year in aid of the Teenage Cancer Trust. Patrice and the Trust exercised their influence, prompting generous contributions from the legendary, the great, and the good.

This may not be a cook's book (there is no recipe index, and the recipes are somewhat buried), but it is a feast for the eyes. The lavish portraits, comical, outlandish, bold and decadent, show the musicians with their favourite foods, with accompanying interviews exploring their culinary obsessions and spilling the beans on their riders. Concluding each interview is a specially commissioned recipe, based on their favourite dish, created by Sarah Muir, a chef who has spent many years touring with bands and cooking for rock royalty. I tried Sarah's recipe for Goldie' Lookin' Chain's prawn curry - in a hurry, and it was speedy indeed, delicious, and great with chips. I'm betting she has her own book deal in the pipeline.

Music and food are fast becoming best buddies, just check out the posh gourmet fare available at festivals, Alex James making cheese, and - I kid you not - British Sea Power's band-brand fudge. All we need now is a band-brand jam.

However, many of the featured artists admit they're no good in the kitchen, and confess to predictable food weaknesses; curry, chips, sushi, roast dinner, fish and chips, and pizza, which Sarah cleverly transforms into Russell Norman-style instantly desirable recipes. A handful of artists have a more intriguing relationship with food. Just try keeping a straight face when Brian May talks about the cosmic resonance between the sun and a grapefruit, and who'd have thought Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand loves growing beetroot.

This is ultimately a musical portraits book, despite a foreword by Heston Blumenthal. A glossy book of interviews. But get someone talking enthusiastically about food, and they often open up more than they intend to. It's worth buying for the interviews and food-fantasy portraits alone; the opportunity to eat like a pop star is just the icing on the top of a very rock 'n' roll cake.

Many thanks to Quadrille for sending me a review copy.

Read more about Patrice's collaboration with The Teenage Cancer Trust here:
Love Music Love Food

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