A few years back, I had the ill-conceived notion of cooking New Year’s Eve Lobster Thermidor for 36 people. It was one of the worst nights of my life.
The lobsters didn’t have a very good time either.
This year, I happily left most of the New Year’s cooking to Curtis. Curtis is the co-owner of Territory Barbecue and Records, and while I admit I’ve never actually been there, I have sampled much of their fare (over at Dave’s house) and thus endorse it highly.
(Note that for most of my childhood, my father owned a somewhat legendary Kansas City style barbecue restaurant called Gator Magoons in Denver, CO—so, my standards for bbq are high).
Curtis is also the lead singer of the band Bad Wizard, an extremely rocking band from NYC by way of Athens, GA. He’s also, I believe, a Gourmale.
Curtis, Bonnie, & Dave - surely amused by some canine antics in the kitchen
The food—an amazing beef roast that tasted like my mother’s Passover brisket, a perfectly seasoned roasted pork loin, creamed corn and roasted potatoes—were all great, along with a stellar asparagus/shiitake risotto by Kate’s friends from Berlin, Ben and Theresa.
Ben, me, Kate and Theresa - top of the Palm Springs Ariel Tramway, with blue moon on the rise
On the drive home, Curtis’ rock and roll roots got me thinking about music and food.
In my life as an air guitarist, I’ve definitely logged more ‘on the road’ hours than with my actual band, Nous Non Plus. In either case, for me, touring is almost just an excuse to search for interesting food I normally would not encounter.
Once, in Cleveland, the night after an air guitar show, I found an amazing Greek deli that had these 4-cheese and olive rolls. Back on the tour bus, I toasted them, and I used them as a bed for egg sandwiches sprinkled with feta. Delicious.
This leads me to a somewhat ham-fisted self-promotional segue about my show Sound Bites. It’s an idea I had a couple of years ago where I would go on tour with a different band each week, and each episode would be all about what the band ate on the road. The late-night haunts, dingy diners, greasy spoons, and crunchified vegan (every band has its vegan) joints.
The pilot episode I did featured Bret and Jemaine, aka Flight of the Conchords, getting fish tacos.
I still think it would be a rocking show, and maybe when the economy takes its head out of its ass it will happen.
Happy New Year, and here’s to 2010 being much better than the giant turd that was 2009.
Below – some random photos from the trip to/from Palm Springs.
Whisky snoozes en route to Palm Springs
Blue Moon, New Year's Eve 2010- from the top of the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway