Fans often fail to identify their favorite artists as anything other than dedicated musicians. Some fans may not be able to imagine their favorite artist as someone who breaks away from writing lyrics or strumming a guitar to doing everyday tasks such as reading books, writing in a diary or even cooking dinner.
However, Glenda Pierce Facemire, author of “Music in the Kitchen,” has broken away from the notion that musicians are little more than the accumulation of their greatest hits. Facemire’s book allows readers to see their favorite artists from the PBS show “Austin City Limits” create masterpieces in the kitchen.
In her book, Facemire has published recipes from Willie Nelson, Bloc Party, Dolly Parton, B.B. King and many other artists who have performed on the show.
Facemire has been associated with “Austin City Limits” for 21 years, working more than 550 shows as head makeup artist. Eight years ago, Facemire had the idea of creating a book based on the favorite recipes of artists who performed on the show. She started by acquiring contributions from local artists, before eventually reaching out to nationally known artists.
“I made it so anyone that wanted to contribute a recipe to the book got the chance to,” Facemire said. “I figured, even if they aren’t that well-known, they were invited to ACL for a reason. Clearly, these are talented individuals.”
Facemire’s primary goal of publishing the cookbook wasn’t to make bags of money or achieve fame and glory, she said. Rather, she said she wanted to reciprocate what the organization had given to her and others.
“The book was my way of contributing to PBS and musicians,” she said. “It was about giving back to people who have contributed to entities beyond themselves. [For me,] it was all about creating an awareness.”
A theme that rings true throughout Facemire’s book is the idea of giving back to the community. Aside from lists of ingredients and recipe directions, artists have listed charities they support.
Because the contributing artists have grown up in different provinces, cultures and customs across both the U.S. and the world, each recipe is unique in its flavors, ingredients and variety.
Among the recipes readers can try are a traditional Southern recipe for collard greens from Loretta Lynn, a recipe for a New Orleans etouffee from Marcia Ball and a recipe for puff puff, a traditional Nigerian doughnut, from Femi Kuti.
Even though the idea of combining music and food may seem odd to some, Facemire knew from the beginning that she was onto something.
“These people aren’t just megastars. They are human beings who take joy in home-cooked meals and life beyond the road,” she said. “This book brings them down to a different level of appreciation.”
At the end of the day, the book can be summed up as it is described in the foreword: “bounty of unique and original recipes that are as creative, eclectic and adventurous as the artists who have shaped the ACL legacy and made it the longest-running popular music series in American television history.”