Released: 2010, Atria
Food preparation is not Metal. Everyone knows that, even Dethklok. Perhaps if you are roaming the cold northern realms in your loincloth and you heroically impale a savage wild-boar with your spear of doom and then devour it bloody and raw... that’s kinda Metal. However adding a whisper of some exotic and delicate spice to some fancy French dish while wearing an apron and a funny hat in the custom kitchen of your suburban home in the Mid-west...that ain’t Metal. Even if you are listening to a Bon Jovi album at the time. However, even true Metal warriors need to eat from time to time so I suppose it was inevitable that cuisine and Metal would eventually collide in some sort of unholy union. The result is not one, but two Metal themed cookbooks released in 2010. The focus of this review is Steven Seabury’s book, MOSH POTATOES.
First of all, let’s clarify one point. The title of the book is incorrect. Seabury created a very clever play-on-words by substituting the word ‘mash’ (ie. to squish) and the word ‘mosh’, the metal dance style. However, the name of the dish is ‘Mashed Potatoes’. That is ‘mashed’ (as in the past tense of the verb, to mash) and the noun, potatoes. So the correct title of the book should be MOSHED POTATOES because there is no such dish as Mash Potatoes. I don’t know how Seabury or his editor dropped the ball on that one.
There is a dish called Bangers & Mash and in this case the word Mash is a noun, the name of the British dish consisting of, you guessed it, mashed (past tense) potatoes. BANGERS AND MOSH would have been an equally acceptable name for the book because it combines not one but two heavy Metal references into a food phrase, but being a guy from NYC, Seabury probably isn’t aware of the connection and that title would leave the American readership confused anyway.
MOSH POTATOES is a really nice looking book, with the hilarious cover of the fork throwing the horns! This 250 p. paperback is loaded with recipes submitted by Heavy Metal artists. 147 recipes to be exact. There are 48 colour photos of our culinary heroes displaying the fruits of their labours. Former Savatage axe-man and hot sauce aficionado, Chris Caffery writes a nice Foreword and some American chef-dude from a Heavy Metal themed burger joint in Chicago, called Kuna’s corner, writes the intro. The book looks good and is well laid out with clever ideas. For example instead of appetizers the dishes are called ‘Opening Acts’ and so on.
What more can I say? It’s a cookbook. I’m not a food guy at all. I don’t cook. I don’t watch The Food Channel, I don’t take cooking classes and the only two cookbooks I own (including this one) were gifts from well-intentioned family members trying to help me refine my diet. I’ve always felt that prepping a big feast and having a big sit-down meal takes time away from more important things like going to Metal concerts, going to record stores, watching Metal DVD’s, surfing the net for obscure bands and so on.
The Metal guy in me loves MOSH POTATOES. It’s funny, well done and full of anecdotes, stories and lots of Metal-themed dishes like ’Whiplash Shrimp Creole’ (Courtesy of Tony from Whiplash) and ‘Progressive Metal Chili (Courtesy of Kelly from Atheist) and of course Lemmy’s now infamous ‘Krakatoa Surprise’.
Unfortunately there are quite a few recipes from not-Metal artists. Who wants to read what those guys eat? Don’t encourage them for Satan’s sake! In the end that’s OK because if you are going to try to cook every dish in this book you can skip the couple dozen recipes submitted by bands like Otep, Soil, Coheed & Cambria, Helmet, Mudvayne, Evergreen Terrace and still maintain your Metal credibility.
But in all seriousness, this a cool, fun book and it might, just might, inspire me to find where the kitchen is in my house and try one of the more novice recipes like ‘Cheese On Toast’ (with Jack Daniels on the side) submitted by Drake from Evile. My kinda dish!