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Local Musicians Trade Instruments for Ladles in Chili Cookbook

by Sean Meehan September 28, 2015 at 3:50 pm 0

Red Beans and Rice (Photo courtesy of Brendan Polmer/ Tereu Tereu

Crock ‘n’ roll: Roughly 20 local bands will trade instruments for ladles in a new chili cookbook.

The forthcoming DC Rock ‘N’ Roll Chili Cookbook will feature chili and chili-esque recipes from local musicians. All proceeds from its sale will go toward benefiting Bread for the City, a nonprofit that provides food, clothing, medical care and social services to at-need District residents.

The cookbook is the brainchild of Jack on Fire member Jason Mogavero, who is known more for stirring the pot of local politics and nightlife than stirring actual pots of chili.

Mogavero said the idea for the cookbook arose during a conversation with Sam Sherwood of indie rock band Mittenfields.

“The idea started, as many wonderful things do, over whiskey and beers at Showtime,” Mogavero said. “I was talking with Sam Sherwood about the Jack White guacamole recipe and that evolved into a conversation about our guacamole recipes and eventually our chili recipes.”

Mogavero said it wasn’t hard to get other bands and musicians to contribute recipes. To date, he’s already gathered submissions from Booby Trap, BRNDA, Granny & The Boys, Head-Roc, Hemlines, Incredible Change, journalist Kriston Capps, Mittenfields, Miyazaki, Nice Breeze, Not Bored, Pat Walsh, Plums, Polyon, Puff Pieces, Sara Curtin, Technicians and Tereu Tereu.

Though many groups contributed classic meat-and-beans chili recipes, Mogavero said there are plenty of vegetarian and vegan recipes as well as some recipes for things to eat with your chili. Feminist punk band Hemlines named its recipe “Dana-Friendly Veggie Chili” after its vegetarian bassist Dana Liebelson. Folk-pop musician Sara Curtin contributed a recipe for beet soup and semi-anonymous Fort Reno Rumors will also contribute to the list, Mogavero added.

Isn’t chili mostly the same no matter how it’s made? Not really, Mogavero said.

“Incredible Change has a recipe that sounds pretty promising involving McClure’s Pickles and black beans, so I’m eager to try that,” he said. “I haven’t tried Granny and The Boys’ recipe because I feared that it would give me a heart attack; it has like 80 different kinds of meat in it.”

The cookbook, which is available for pre-order and due out in November, will come with a download code for a compilation album featuring all the musicians whose recipes are in the book. Jack on Fire and BRNDA have recorded new songs for the release, and Sara Curtin’s song “Summer” will also be on the list.

Many of the bands also added some non-tangible ingredients into the recipes themselves. Jack on Fire’s chili recipe, for example, calls for a Stooges album to be playing while you cook and stir.

“A lot of the recipes are over-the-top and silly,” Mogavero said.

Music fans will get a chance to taste some of the recipes before they buy the book at a kickoff event Nov. 8 at 4-7 p.m. at Showtime Lounge in Bloomingdale (113 Rhode Island Ave. NW). Mogavero is still hammering out the details for the event, but says he expects some intense competition between the bands to crop up.

“I imagine that everyone is saving their trash talk for Showtime and that a full-on Animal House-style food fight will go on,” he joked. “Probably a few people will be hospitalized with chili-related injuries.”

Photo courtesy of Brendan Polmer/ Tereu Tereu

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