by Steve Haruch
I know, I know, most of you Cream readers have already made it through this month's issue of Bon Appétit, so this is old news. But here it is: Dan Auerbach, who is in a Grammy-winning rock band called The Black Keys here in Nashville, talked to the French-monikered mag about his favorite local eats. It's kind of like that time Rolling Stone called Nashville the best rock scene in America and talked about restaurants and clothes, except this is actually a food magazine talking to a musician about restaurants and clothes. Hey, Grammy-winning Dan Auerbach likes Arnold's and Mas Tacos, just like you. And just like you (or maybe not just like you), he loves to eat at City House: " 'If I'm not touring,' says Auerbach, 'I'm probably there eating the octopus with butter beans, the North Carolina mussels with linguine, and the belly-ham pizza.' "
As it turns out, City House chef Tandy Wilson hates constantly making those damn pizzas everyone loves, the same way rock stars hate constantly playing those damn hit songs everyone loves. Are there more parallels between food and music? Why yes, according to Grammy winner Dan Auerbach, there are: "There's a parallel in that every good chef I've ever met is a soulful person. You know, you either sort of have that thing, or you don't. Generally, musicians and chefs don't like to be told what to do."
He also compares molecular gastronomy to Radiohead, which is actually a bad comparison — science is not the same thing as twiddling on your MacBook — but I'll admit I chuckled. The real parallel between chefs and musicians, of course, is that chefs and musicians tend to think their version of the thing that's been done a million times before is special and the best. And if it feels good going down, then hey, maybe it is.