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I Like Food, Food Tastes Good

(article, Ashley Brodie)

I Like Food, Food Tastes Good is the product of journalist Kara Zuaro’s love of both loud music and good food. Her cookbook, a compilation of favorite recipes from rock bands ranging from the Violent Femmes to Belle and Sebastian, proves that off the stage and tour bus, even the most pierced, tattooed, and grungy bandmates regularly savor more than just good guitar riffs. 

Let’s be honest, though: Between nightly shows, unfamiliar hotels, and interminable bus rides, most bands don’t have the time (or sometimes even the money) for delectable meals. But when Zuaro’s musican pals swap out their drum sets for knife sets, some of them can whip up delicious, even healthy, home cooking. I Like Food, Food Tastes Good is a motley collection of recipes veering from the restorative (Voxtrot’s Peanutty Black-Bean Tofu) to the desperate (Death Cab for Cutie’s Veggie Sausage and Peanut Butter Sandwich), but it’s always entertaining along the way. 

Sure, these recipes come from folks who often consider a bowl of Top Ramen and a bottle of Pabst Blue Ribbon a square meal. But fear not; head for the kitchen and try this sample menu before deciding for yourself.

Begin with some Zucchini Slippers, from the husband-and-wife band The Rosebuds. Kelly Crisp and Ivan Howard’s everyday vegetarian recipe takes fresh ingredients and piles them into a simple, cheesy dish that can serve as an appetizer or an entire meal. 

For the main course, try Pork Loin with Poblano Chiles, courtesy of The Decemberists. This dish proves two things: that an indie pop band from Portland, Oregon, can cook, and that not all members of alternative bands are vegan.

To accompany this spicy dish, down a few of Nada Surf’s Patriot Act Mojitos. But be warned; bassist Daniel Lorca lays out strict guidelines for sourcing ingredients. “Leave the USA,” he claims. “Purchase some Havana Club rum and try not to get arrested this time when you bring it back into the country; you might end up, irony of all ironies, in Guantánamo with a plastic bag over your head.” Apparently the end result is worth the trouble.

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So now you’re well fed and possibly a little tipsy, and ready for Ben Kweller’s deliciously addictive Chocolate Balls. Kweller (who previously fronted the grunge band Radish) offers a delightful no-bake recipe that couldn’t be more easy or impressive.

For some, I Like Food, Food Tastes Good_ may never be more than a conversation piece or a good laugh. And it's true that the book is not exactly a collection of culinary genius. But its quirky recipes and eccentric tone really do earn it a spot on the cookbook shelf — or the music rack.

“The goal of any host or hostess is similar to the ambition of a touring band — to develop a hungry fan base who’ll rave about you and always come back for more,” writes Zuaro. So put on the latest album and hit the kitchen with your favorite bands. 

p(bio). Ashley Brodie is a writer based in Portland, Oregon.


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