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5 Indie Music Cookbooks to Help You Cook Like a Rockstar

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Have you ever wondered what your favorite indie music artists eat? Well, not only can you find out about some of their favorite dishes, but also get the recipes!

The 5 cookbooks below are full of recipes loved by indie music legends like Belle and Sebastian, Sunset Rubdown, The Violent Femmes, Boy George, Grizzly Bear, and Superchunk (that’s them above at Athens Popfest).

In these books you’ll find recipes for everything from quick meals while on the road to lavish gourmet creations. Carnivores, vegetarians, and vegans will all have plenty of delicious dishes to try. There are also lots of great ideas and helpful tips for throwing some fun dinner parties. 

Whether you are scouting some new recipes for your next adventure picnicking foray or looking for a great gift for an indie music fan in your life,  these indie rock cookbooks are worth checking out!

I Like Food, Food Tastes Good: In the Kitchen with Your Favorite Bands

by Kara Zuaro

This is a fantastic collection of 105 diverse recipes from bands like Belle & Sebastian, Death Cab for Cutie, The Violent Femmes, and They Might Be Giants.

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And it’s the diversity that makes this cookbook fun. You’ll find everything from gourmet dishes with somewhat lavish ingredients, to rough shod tour food concoctions, all demonstrating that the creativity and inspiration that is behind much of our popular music is more adaptable to the culinary arts than you would think.

The recipes skew slightly vegetarian/vegan, but there should be enough dishes with meat to keep a carnivorous music fan happy And if healthy eating (or even cooking) is not your thing, you may just find a few super easy recipes with familiar ingredients (read Ramen Noodle) that will put smile on your face and food in your belly.

Dishes include everything from mac and cheese to vegetarian paella and each recipe includes a quick blurb from the musician about its inspiration. Some of these anecdotes are really funny and the quirkiness and humor of musicians on the road is evident throughout the book. It celebrates indie music as much as it celebrates food – and that’s a great thing!

This is a great general cookbook that will make any hungry indie music fan happy. It is also a great cookbook for someone who is just beginning to dabble in vegetarian and vegan dishes.

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Lost in the Supermarket: An Indie Rock Cookbook

by Kay Bozich Owens and Lynn Owens

Okay, you had me at The Clash. But, seriously, if you have been getting lost in the supermarket, then this cookbook may be just what you need.

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Offering an offbeat mix of recipes from bands like, Animal Collective, Sonic Youth, and Belle & Sebastian (Again? they apparently like to cook!), Lost in the Supermarket isn’t going to start a new culinary movement, however it does offer a great glimpse into the eclectic gourmandizing of some of your favorite indie artists.  

As a cookbook, it is not as organized as some of the other books on this list, and the recipes are not as adventurous or refined. But there is a lot of inspiration here for newer cooks who are looking for an easy and fun entry point into the culinary arts. There are also plenty of vegetarian and vegan recipes, so even if you are planning a music-themed dinner party for a mix of carnivores and vegetarians, you won’t feel lost.

This is a great cookbook for indie music fans just starting out in the kitchen and looking for a fun and easy entry point. 

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Karma Cookbook: Great Tasting Dishes to Nourish Your Body and Feed Your Soul

by Boy George and Dragana G. Brown

Who would have thought that Boy George would put out a macrobiotic cookbook?

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But that is what we have here and it is chock full of interesting and tasty vegetarian and vegan recipes. The Culture Club icon teamed up with macrobiotic guru, Dragana Brown to produce this full-fledged guide to healthier eating. Recipes range through all four courses, including some healthy drinks.

The cookbook isn’t heavy on pretty food pictures, but does feature some funny commentary from Boy George. What it lacks in coffee table appeal, it makes up for in Culture Club kitsch.

Be forewarned that measurements are in metric units. Google is a great way to convert to Imperial units, so keep your phone handy for quick conversions to Imperial.

This is a great addition to your kitchen library if you are looking for healthy new macrobiotic recipes, just starting out on a vegetarian or vegan diet, or a big Culture Club fan. 

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Twenty Dinners

by Chris Taylor and Ithai Schori

Grizzly Bear frontman Chris Taylor has been obsessed with cooking and food since the age of nine and this cookbook shows his culinary knowledge and creativity.

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As the title implies, this book provides recipes for exactly twenty dinners, which include appetizers and cocktails. The dinners are also categorized by season (summer, winter, spring, and fall) which is tremendously helpful if you’ve ever gone on a wild search for an out-of-season veggie required by a recipe.

The cuisine skews toward the traditional with dishes like smoked trout, roast chicken, duck, and ribeye steak. There are a lot of veggie recipes as well, including a lot of delicious salads, but this is not a good gift choice for a vegetarian or vegan. Neither the dishes or the ingredients are too exotic and the goal is clear: help you throw an amazing dinner party. While the book covers only twenty dinners, there are over a hundred recipes.

The book is very well organized, and features beautiful photography from Ithai Schori, who is also passionate about food. There is a strong focus on cooking technique and food/drink pairings, which is extremely helpful and informative for novice and intermediate cooks. 

If you like to throw fun fancy dinner parties for indie music nerds, Twenty Dinners is a cookbook you must have.

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The Grit Cookbook: World-Wise, Down-Home Recipes

by Jessica Greene and Ted Hafer

Last but not least is a Tribal Feast favorite, not only for the great recipes, but also because it comes from our favorite local restaurant!

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Located in Athens, Georgia (the hometown of bands like the B-52s, R.E.M., Pylon, Neutral Milk Hotel, and Of Montreal), The Grit has been a longtime staple for both local rockstars and touring bands who are in town for a show. When dining there, it is not uncommon to see notable indie music artists either eating at a table nearby or even waiting on you!

While the recipes are all vegetarian and vegan and utilize mostly healthy ingredients, the dishes are hearty, satisfying, and filling. This is a great cookbook for someone transitioning away from meat or for a couple who are looking for some tasty meatless dishes in a household with a meat eater afraid of missing out on flavor.  Can you say, “yeast gravy?”

The cuisine in the cookbook (and the restaurant) draws from all over the world with flavors of the Middle East, Italy, Mexico, and the Southern U.S. being most prominent. There are over 150 recipes featured in the book, and it is filled with fun quotes cooking fundamentals, and other informative tidbits.  

Tribal Feast Pro Tip: It’s all about the Golden Bowl with plenty of veggies, cheese, and hot sauce!

If you are looking for some mind-blowingly good vegetarian and vegan dishes, The Grit Cookbook is a food Party Gone Out of Bounds.

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