The Recipe Project: A Delectable Extravaganza of Food and Music

Overview


"Need fun stuff for the super-music-nerd-foodie who has everything? Here ya go!"
—Ted Allen, host of Food Network's Chopped

The Recipe Project began as a simple idea: take the recipes of today’s top chefs, set them to music, and sing them word for word. The result is a quirky, remarkably catchy cd-book combo that poses some timely questions about the glories of music and food. If chefs are the new rock stars, why not celebrate them as exactly ...

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Overview


"Need fun stuff for the super-music-nerd-foodie who has everything? Here ya go!"
—Ted Allen, host of Food Network's Chopped

The Recipe Project began as a simple idea: take the recipes of today’s top chefs, set them to music, and sing them word for word. The result is a quirky, remarkably catchy cd-book combo that poses some timely questions about the glories of music and food. If chefs are the new rock stars, why not celebrate them as exactly that? And how loud can David Chang play The Kinks before his restaurant patrons walk out?

Here, in one totally unnecessary collection, you get it all: the album of songs, the brilliant recipes, plus personal interviews with the famed chefs about everything from childhood violin lessons to teenage Van Halen haircuts. Along the way, some of the most noteworthy culinary writers in the country—including Melissa Clark and John T. Edge—weigh in on how food and music have helped them survive screaming newborns, religious fundamentalism, and dinner with grandma.

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Editorial Reviews

The Atlantic
Utterly charming and a formidable feat of multi-sensory deliciousness.
Esquire
The recipes function as a sort of found poetry, if you will, a jumping-off point for a consideration of how sound relates to flavor.
Oprah's Food Newsletter
John Besh, the New Orleans chef, put it best in the video by Time.com as he sang along to his own recipe for shrimp remoulade, 'Why didn't I think of this?'
Wired.com
The Recipe Project [is] a true feast for cuisine geeks. It's a project worthy of the new breed of food pornographers, who have transformed cooking programming into an indulgent pleasure.
Epicurious
Between the covers, you'll find recipes, prose pieces, chef interviews, and yes, music. Pore through the pages and you'll be rewarded with some lovely food writing, delicious food, and toe-tapping tunes. It's a multi-sensory feast.
Bon Appetit Magazine Editors
By stylistically channeling the Beastie Boys and Bach to Bowie and Belly (with the latter's Tanya Donelly lending vocals on a track), the band's catchy recipe adaptations make for an engaging listen.
Time.com
Every once in a while you come across a project and think, I can't believe no one has done this before. That's how I felt when I heard about The Recipe Project, a cookbook that takes recipes from established chefs like David Chang, Tom Colicchio and Mario Batali and sets them to music.
Food Network Magazine
Food Network stars Aaron Sanchez and Michael Symon, among others, handed over their favorite recipes to the band One Ring Zero so they could turn them into catchy tunes. 'I would wake up in the middle of the night with Mario Batali's spaghetti song running through my head,' says band leader, Michael Hearst.
From the Publisher
“From freshly launched quirky indie publisher Black Balloon (whose launch email included the word "amazeballs") comes The Recipe Project: A Delectable Extravaganza of Food and Music — a delightful and nerdy treat for the foodie-musicologist, transforming delicious recipes into singable, danceable songs, a straight shot to our omnibus of favorite cross-disciplinary cookbooks.”
— Maria Popova, Atlantic.com, The Recipe Project: Recipes from Rock Star Chefs All Set to Song

“Thanks to a new book and CD called The Recipe Project the food and music worlds are not only colliding but collaborating. The creative minds behind this fusion are the members of the band One Ring Zero. And the end goal of all of this? Make recipes and food more accessible and fun.”
Time.com, Sing for Supper: Putting Top Chefs‘ Recipes to Music

"The book also has plenty of insightful musings from folks like David Chang, Jonathan Dixon and Bon Appetit's own Christine Muhlke, but the hook is with the album. By stylistically channeling the Beastie Boys and Bach to Bowie and Belly (with the latter's Tanya Donelly lending vocals on a track), the band's catchy recipe adaptations make for an engaging listen."
— Michael Singer, Bon Appetit.com:, The Recipe Project Set Tom Colicchio's Recipes to Music

"We found the ideal background music for cooking: Lyrics on the album The Recipe Project from recipes by famous chefs. Food Network stars Aaron Sanchez and Michael Symon, among others, handed over their favorite recipes to the band One Ring Zero so they could turn them into catchy tunes.”
Food Network Magazine

"If you're really interested in exploring the relationship between food and music, I would suggest focusing on the essays and interviews. What I like about the album itself, though, is that it injects some much-needed levity into the topic of chefs and their food — a subject which has become almost delusionally self-serious of late. It's hard to be reverential about a recipe when it's set to accordion music.”
— Elizabeth Gunnison, Esquire.com, What Brains, Eggs, and the Beastie Boys Have in Common

“How can I explain? One Ring Zero &mdashone of those quirky Skinny White Guy bands that I say I don’t like and then deeply fixate on &mdashhas made songs out of recipes. They have taken cooking instructions from famous chefs and set them to music. Word for word. Measurements. Ingredients. Utensils. Everything.”
&mdash Lucky Magazine Online, Lucky Haul: Songs for Foodies

“For the project, One Ring Zero, a musical group led by New York multi-instrumentalists Joshua Camp and Michael Hearst, used recipes from platinum chefs like Mario Batali and Tom Colicchio as lyrics. Then they paired the spoken recipes to tunes done in various sonic styles, from banda to metal. The whole thing got served up with a side of informative food essays, making The Recipe Project a true feast for cuisine geeks. It’s a project worthy of the new breed of food pornographers, who have transformed cooking programming into an indulgent pleasure.”
— Scott Thill, Wired.com, On The Recipe Project, One Ring Zero Sets Weird Dishes to Music

“Each chef got to pick their own musical style for their Shrimp Remoulade, Pickled Pumpkin or Tunisian chicken wings, all of which were served at the album’s launch party. In other words, the music is as diverse as the dishes.”
— Rachel Wharton, NY1 Edible Segment: One Ring Zero Rocks Out To Celebrity Chef Recipes

“The chefs picked their own musical styles, from classic rock (Michael Symon) to Mexican banda (Aaron Sanchez) to rap (Chris Cosentino), creating a hilarious ode to all things musical and culinary. A CD of the songs comes packaged in a book by Black Balloon called The Recipe Project, edited by Oprah.com’s own Leigh Newman, which includes all the recipes (you can actually cook the dishes), plus interviews with the chefs (David Chang dishes on childhood violin lessons), original playlists by chefs, and essays on food and music by every kind and stripe of writer.”
— Lynn Andriani, Oprah.com, Take Shrimp, Add Spicy Drumbeat, Make Song

“Between the covers, you'll find recipes, prose pieces, chef interviews, and yes, music. Pore through the pages and you'll be rewarded with some lovely food writing, delicious food, and toe-tapping tunes. It's a multi-sensory feast.”
— Esther Sung, Epicurious.com, The Recipe Project: Putting Recipes to Music

“The CD and accompanying book sets to music recipes by such celebrity chefs as Mario Batali, John Besh and Aarón Sanchez. The recipes are sung complete, from the ingredients to the directions and serving sizes. It's infectious and catchy. So much so, I started singing recipes as I made them at home, like I had been infected with a melody virus.”
— Jeff Houck, Tampa Bay Online, Snap, crackle, pop! What's your favorite food noise?

The Recipe Project is one of the year's most ambitious books, combining interviews, essays, and recipes with a music CD to wondrous results. The project's combination of food, writing, and music works on every level.”
Largehearted Boy, Book Notes - Michael Hearst The Recipe Project

“Silly and smart all at once, a good gift for your musical foodie friends.”
The Denver Post, Yum Yum

"Need fun stuff for the super-music-nerd-foodie who has everything? Here ya go: Famous chefs’ recipes sung—literally sung, just as written ('1 teaspoon salt, 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil,') to original pop music in styles ranging from power pop to acid klezmer (you’ll know it when you hear it), accompanied by a book of smart essays and thoughtful oddities. I’ll admit I’m glad they didn’t record Julia Child’s six-page recipe for cassoulet, which would fill an entire CD—maybe two. But if they ever do, I’m thinking a prog-rock style opus, a la 'In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida.'"
— Ted Allen, host of Food Network's Chopped, and former food and wine expert for Queer Eye for the Straight Guy

Library Journal
First things first: the centerpiece of The Recipe Project is a 12-track CD of Brooklyn-based duo One Ring Zero performing recipes, verbatim, put to music in various styles. The accompanying text reads like a few weeks' worth of a hipster foodie blog as it skips from casual interviews with culinary movers and shakers to restaurant playlists to offbeat musings such as JJ Goode's "A Wine Lover's Guide to Mexican Music." (Other contributors include food writers Melissa Clark and Jonathan Dixon.) The dozen recipes that inspired the tracks are just as scattershot and, in a few cases, simple to the point of absurdity. This package would likely be much more palatable in an online format, with a seamless integration of music and text. As a separate CD and book, though, it is less than the sum of its parts. VERDICT Too small to be a coffee-table book, with too few recipes to be a cookbook, and generally lacking in focus and substance. Contributions from such celebrity chefs as Mario Batali, David Chang, and Michael Symon may generate buzz, but this is a disappointing effort overall.—Neil Derksen, Gwinnett Cty. P.L., Lawrenceville, GA
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781936787005
  • Publisher: Black Balloon Publishing
  • Publication date: 10/11/2011
  • Pages: 116
  • Product dimensions: 8.20 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

One Ring Zero (songs) has released nine albums including the acclaimed literary collaboration As Smart As We Are. They've performed at Central Park Summer Stage, The Kennedy Center, and been featured on This American Life, Fresh Air, and Morning Edition.

Interviews and Recipes: Mario Batali (Babbo, Eataly, Lupa, Iron Chef), John Besh (August), David Chang (Momofuku), Tom Colicchio (Craft, Gramercy Tavern, Top Chef), Chris Cosentino (Incanto, Boccalone, Food Network), Mark Kurlansky (author Cod, Salt), Isa Chandra Moskowitz (Post Punk Kitchen), Andrea Reusing (Lantern), Aaron Sanchez (Chefs vs. City), Michael Symon (Iron Chef, Lola)

Essays: John T. Edge (introduction – New York Times, All Things Considered), Matthew Amster-Burton (Hungry Monkey), Melissa Clark (In the Kitchen with A Good Appetite), Jonathan Dixon (Beaten, Seared, and Sauced), Tanya Donelly (The Breeders, Belly), JJ Goode (Food & Wine), Emily Kaiser Thelin (Food & Wine), Christine Muhlke (Bon Appetit), Michael Harlan Turkell (The New Brooklyn Cookbook), Michelle Wildgen (Tin House), Kara Zuaro (I Like Food, Food Tastes Good)

Leigh Newman (editor) is the author of the memoir Still Points North (Dial/Random House). Her travel, food and culture articles have appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Travel Holiday, Conde Nast Concierge, Brides and elsewhere.

Michael Hearst (editor) is a founding member of the band One Ring Zero.

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Read an Excerpt

David Chang: Fried Chicken, David Bowie, and Girlfriends who like Desperate Housewives.

David Chang is chef and owner of Momofuku Noodle Bar, Momofuku Ko, Momofuku Ssäm Bar, and Ma Peche in New York City. Famous for his pork buns and soft serve, Chang takes no reservations except for parties of six who promise to order a whole pork belly or triple-fried Korean chicken. He is the author of the Momofuku cookbook and appeared in Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People of 2010.

RP: Let’s say you weren’t a chef—how many months of your life could you lose to music?

DC: I have almost 2 years worth of continuous music on my computer. A lot of it comes from the restaurant—managers from bands come in and they're like, “Oh you're playing the band I represent!” and slide me some CDs. So my collection is a massive weird mix of stuff.

RP: And you make your own playlists, right? How’d you come up with the bizarre mix of Nina Simone and Smokey Robinson for La Peche, your newest place in midtown Manhattan?

DC: We started playing music for cooks, not the customers! At Noodle Bar, we used to blast it just to keep awake. Really loud music is great to cook to, but it’s weird because customers notice it, and pay more attention to the music than the food.

RP: You’ve got a kind of rock ‘n roll crowd—when bands come into the restaurant, do you make a point to play their music?

DC: No! No no no, I make sure we don’t play their music while they’re there, it’s embarrassing. And my other rule—we don’t bother people. As wait staff, we have aspiring musicians and actors, and I will kill them if they approach anybody.

RP: Which brings us to your temper. What's the worst temper tantrum you've ever thrown?

DC: I should be in jail. I literally black out in rage. It's like temporary insanity. It's bad for my health, so I haven't gotten mad – that mad—in a long time. Especially now that I'm rarely working service. Service is what kills me. On my feet, on the line. I just can't do the stress and perfectionism. I just want to make stuff.

RP: Let’s get pissed off now. What the fuck is wrong with food in America?

DC: With food, I love the very things I hate. Take comfort food. I think it's great if some restaurants do it, but again, if every restaurant's serving meat loaf and mashed potatoes and biscuits, it’s boring. I call that staff meal-ization. My chefs will go out to a restaurant and think, “This is our fuckin' staff meal! This is what we cook ourselves, between shifts!” I hate that sort of dumbing down of the culinary world.

RP: Do you think the same thing is happening with music—it’s getting dumbed down?

DC: I'm sort of disenchanted with the current music scene. For example, someone just told me, “I love Kings of Leon.” I was, like, (dumbfounded expression). I'm not a musician, but I feel like the musicianship in music has disappeared. The artistry. I hate Top 40. Then again, it's so easy to slam Britney Spears. Sometimes it takes me years to appreciate something. I wasn’t a huge Eminem fan until I actually listened to his stuff, and I was, like, wow—he’s extraordinarily talented.

RP: What about you—how do you compose your dishes? Some are so original, like cereal milk—toasted cornflakes steeped in milk, then strained—the milk is left with just a hint of salty sweet. How’d you come up with that?

DC: Right now, we have a lab where I spend most of my time. We want simple. Clear. We want a dish where people are like, Fuck! Why didn't I do that? It's so easy! As a team, we’ve reached a point of saturation, not so different with music, where it's like….what do you do when everything's been done?
So we're focusing on things like rice. How can we get a better understanding of, say, a rice noodle, by making it from scratch without a stabilizer and high-tech machinery? By putting a creative limit or ceiling on what we can do, it forces us to really push the envelope.

RP: Would you say cooking requires artistry? Is it even an art?

DC: It's a mixture of craft and art. It can be an art depending on how pretentious you want it to be. That’s not the problem. It’s the entertainment side of the business that you want to watch out for. There’s real distinction between an entertainer and a chef. I've said some terrible things about Guy Fieri (from Minute to Win, and on the Food Network). I said I'd throw him down the stairs and kill him. I said I’d throw him down again to make sure. My oldest brother was like, “How can you make fun of Guy Fieri? He wears a wristband in honor of his son.” And I was like, “If it really mattered that much to him, he wouldn't fucking tell anybody! It'd be just between him and his son.” (laughs)

This whole thing is a marketing ploy. Is it great for food? No, I don't think so. Then again, people do what they have to do. Take Rachael Ray. Rachael Ray busts her ass. She never proclaimed she was a chef, not once. People wanna hate on her because she's massive—I used to be one of them. But Rachael Ray is fucking nice.

RP: If you went out to see a band and had a few beers—okay 10 beers, what do you want to eat on the stumble home?

DC: My guilty drunken pleasure is chicken fingers. There's something about the fried chicken finger. We’re serving fried chicken at Noodle Bar—whole, no fingers. It was born out of a contest between Peter Serpico (the chef at Ko) and myself, about who could create the crispiest chicken.

I made a Korean fried chicken—crazy popular all over Asia and America right now. It's a triple fried bird, it's so crispy and spicy. Peter grew up in the Baltimore area, so he coated his in Old Bay seasoning. Anyway, we started this contest. We both just talked mad shit to each other. I was like, “This chicken is gonna break your fuckin' teeth…” It took a couple months. And I think it ended a tie. I never wanna fry another bird in my life.

RP: Do you cook for girls?

DC: I have cooked for a girlfriend. When she was sick. Chicken soup. That kind of thing.

RP: Did you check out her CD collection before you did it?

DC: Yeah. Kind of. Like one woman turned to me and said, “I need to see Lady Gaga.” And I was like, “Ohhhhhh no…”

What's that fucking TV show? Desperate Housewives? I dated this girl and normally— if it hadn't been that she was extraordinarily good looking—there would have been all these red flags. But in my head I just kept thinking, it's going to be okay, it's going to be okay. And then, it just all built up—the bad music, the bad TV. And books too, it's like, “What? You're reading what? John Grisham!? What the fuck??”
*

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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2011

    The unique gift that is truly fun and practical!

    For a title like this, I'm always suspicious that though it might be fun, the recipes won't work. But this is not the case! I have had the most entertaining, rollicking time cooking with my children. They sing the songs and I prepare. I also love, love the interviews and the stunning artwork. The distinctive gift that people will really use and enjoy!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 5, 2011

    Great gift for the family

    This book is so great to help teach my kids about cooking. Just like the reviewer below, we listen to the CD of the recipes in the car and the kids know exactly what ingredients we need at the store and how to make the dishes. This has been the most fun our family has had together in a long time. Turn off the TV, pop in the CD, and COOK!

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  • Posted December 5, 2011

    Best thing ever.

    I purchased a copy of this book as a gift for my sister for Christmas and when I opened the package I knew I had to get another for myself! This is seriously one of the cutest books I've ever seen. I mean, recipes made into songs? Hilarious. It's totally hoky but in the must wonderful way imaginable. You really grow to love these silly, happy songs - and all the recipes are really good! Plus, the illustrations inside are funky and cute and there are some neat playlists, too. Surprisingly enough, there are even some really moving and delightful stories inside by food writers and bloggers - Matthew Amster-Burton's essay about his and his daughters love of peroshki was totally heartwrenching.

    Still, I have to say my favorite thing about this book is how much my 5 year old LOVES, and I mean LOVES to listen to this 'soundtrack' while we make dinner. Worth its weight in gold.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 4, 2011

    So Unique

    I bought this to add to my cookbook collection, because the essays and recipes seemed pretty great and I like all these chefs. Having attempted only two recipes so far (creamless corn and the chicken wings), they both turned out very well. The best part was not having to make a list of ingredients--we memorized the song and my daughter repeated them back to me (ad nauseum) on the way to the store...
    Great gift idea and what a surprise to hear Tanya Donnelly (from the Breeders) singing about peanut butter cookies!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 4, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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