Were The Rolling Stones the first celebrity chefs?

Jagger coming round for supper again tonight? Then serve him his delightful 1967 recipe, Hot Dogs on The Rocks
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Singers and Swingers in the Kitchen, as featured in The Cookbook Book
Singers and Swingers in the Kitchen, as featured in The Cookbook Book

The post-war boom brought many delights to Western consumers, from rock ‘n’ roll to convenience foods. Over the years, we’ve lost our taste for some of these goods, while others remain with us. Those old Rolling Stones’ records certainly have a perennial appeal for some, but what of Mick and Keith’s culinary tastes?

Roberta Ashley was music columnist for the American newspaper supplement, This Week, when she wrote Singers and Swingers in The Kitchen, an early attempt to combine the showbiz pages with the cookery section. The recipes were gathered together in a book by the Parallex Publishing company  in 1967 and it's featured in our new title The Cookbook Book.

This 1967 volume claims to reproduce ‘hip, mod, delicious recipes from today’s top scene makers’, including Barbara Streisand, Sonny & Cher, and The Monkees. It’s unclear just how accurate a representation of the demimonde’s cookery habits Ashley offers in her book. Yet, whatever it lacks in terms of fidelity it more than makes up for with evocative recipes from a time when instant gratification was at a premium and nutritional values a distant afterthought. Something Keith heroically adheres to even in his dotage. The last time we bumped into him he was busy spooning 8 sugars into a mug of tea. 

 

The Rolling Stones in Singers and Swingers in The Kitchen. From The Cookbook Book
The Rolling Stones in Singers and Swingers in The Kitchen. From The Cookbook Book

Take Streisand’s Instant Coffee Ice Cream, made from 24 marshmallows, one cup of milk, one teaspoon of instant coffee, and one cup of heavy cream. “Barbara likes this with pretzels, believe it or not,” Ashely writes.

The Rolling Stones’ dish, Hot Dogs on the Rocks is equally rudimentary. Carrying the warning "This is not - repeat not - a recipe for calorie counters " it calls for 10 hot dogs, five potatoes, “or enough instant mashed potatoes to serve five”, and one large can of baked beans. “On each plate, serve a mound of creamy mashed potatoes ringed by heated canned baked beans,” the book directs. “Over the top of all this, slice up the frankfurters in good-sized chunks.”

So yes, in terms of technique, we’re hardly dealing with René Redzepi. Nevertheless, the recipe is group effort, as Ashley explains: “Mick Jagger invented the potatoes and franks; Charlie Watts added the beans.” Proof, perhaps, that the band that cooks together stays together. And you can always polish it off with a Mars bar afterwards. 

We hope you’ve enjoyed this preview from our forthcoming title. You can buy The Cookbook Book from the people how made it, here.


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