Visit “Mariobatalivoice,” the Cooking Blog by Steve Albini, Musician & Record Producer


Image by Wiki­me­dia Com­mons by Freeko­rps

You know Steve Albi­ni as the pio­neer­ing founder and front­man of such dis­turb­ing post-hard­core punk bands as Big Black, Rape­man, and Shel­lac. You also know him as the in-demand pro­duc­er of albums by such excel­lent artists as the Pix­ies, Nir­vana, Cheap Trick, Mog­wai, The Dirty Three, The Breed­ers, P.J. Har­vey… the list goes ever on… Albini’s role as a producer—of bands both high pro­file and total­ly obscure—is leg­endary in rock cir­cles, as is his cur­mud­geon­li­ness, exact­ing per­son­al stan­dards, high­ly opin­ion­at­ed com­men­tary, and excep­tion­al musi­cal taste.

You may not know, how­ev­er, about Albini’s excep­tion­al culi­nary tastes, as doc­u­ment­ed on his food blog, “Mar­i­o­batal­ivoice: What I made Heather for din­ner.” Main­tained between 2011 and 2013, the run­ning com­men­tary chron­i­cles Albini’s attempts at dish­es such as “Li-hing-rubbed tor­pe­do with weird huau­zon­tle and diced pep­pers” and “aged short ribs with fen­nel on saf­fron pota­to puree.” From the looks of things, Albi­ni is a fine cook, as well as decent food photographer—if those are his pho­tos. His blog descrip­tion sug­gests they may be the work of Heather (that is, his wife, Heather Whin­na).

potato cashew pancakes

A pho­to of Saf­fron Pota­to Cashew Pan­cakes from mar­i­o­batal­ivoice.

Albini’s also a very enter­tain­ing writer. No sur­prise there, “as any­one who’s seen his back-in-the-day fanzine rants can attest,” wrote Tom Brei­han at Pitch­fork in 2011. Typ­i­cal­ly under­stat­ed and idio­syn­crat­ic, Albi­ni writes, “I don’t give quan­ti­ties or exact recipes because I eye­ball and taste every­thing like any­body who cooks a lot…. We’re not nin­jas. Also, some of this food may not turn out that great, so repli­cat­ing it would be point­less. I have also suc­cess­ful­ly cooked for our cats.” Nonethe­less, even with­out pro­por­tions and exact steps spelled out, “if you cook, you should be able to fig­ure out how to make any of these meals.”

The name, he tells us, “comes from the way I bring [Heather] food in bed and present it to her using an imi­ta­tion of Mario Batali’s voice from TV.” You’ll prob­a­bly find your own brand of pre­sen­ta­tion, but all of the dish­es look both chal­leng­ing and total­ly worth the effort. To read about Albini’s adven­tures in the culi­nary exot­ic, check out the archives of his now-dor­mant food blog here.

via Metafil­ter

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Read Steve Albini’s Uncom­pro­mis­ing Pro­pos­al to Pro­duce Nirvana’s In Utero (1993)

An Awkward/NSFW Inter­view with Nir­vana Pro­duc­er Steve Albi­ni (Plus B‑52 Front­man Fred Schnei­der)

1967 Cook­book Fea­tures Recipes by the Rolling Stones, Simon & Gar­funkel, Bar­bra Streisand & More

Josh Jones is a writer and musi­cian based in Durham, NC. Fol­low him at @jdmagness

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