Nova Rex bass player Kenny Wilkerson's new cookbook, Rockin' Recipes for Autism, is the kind of cookbook you could buy just to support a good cause.
Kenny's son, Gunnar, has Asperger's syndrome, and autism awareness has long been close to Kenny's heart. But he wanted to give back in a bigger way, so he asked his rock-'n'-roll friends to share their favorite recipes for a cookbook to support music therapy organization We Rock for Autism. That's the do-gooder, full-circle kind of charity initiative that makes even the most frugal of us (like me) ready to buy three copies.
But even if that story doesn't tug at your heart strings, there are plenty of reasons to buy this book. It's more than a cookbook, really. It's a compilation of short stories that let you get to know a person—in this case, rock-'n'-rollers—through food.
The cookbook features over 50 recipes from members of rock groups including Toto, Evanescence, Ozzy Osbourne, Poison, and plenty more. Each rocker shares a favorite personal or family recipe, plus a bit of background on what makes the recipes so great. The bios that appear with each recipe are only a couple hundred words each, if that, but you get a lot out of them.
For instance, you learn that Rikki Rockett of Poison is a strict vegetarian who has created some pretty delicious on-the-go recipes, like Black Bean Sliders with Sriracha Aioli. You learn that Will Hunt of Evanescence (and other groups) follows the gospel of barbecue and swears by his smoked brisket recipe. And you learn that Steve Lukather, a member of toto who contributed to Michael Jackson's Thriller album, doesn't have lots of cooking skills but does have a big heart and wanted to support the cause, so he contributed instructions on how to eat a Snickers bar. (That's my favorite recipe in the book, for the record.)
The combination of recipes and short stories makes it a special kind of cookbook that you'll want to read cover-to-cover (speaking from experience). The charity aspect makes it the kind you want to share with others (again, speaking from experience). And right now, when everything feels uncertain, it's nice to have a way to freshen up your dinner menu while putting a bit of good into the world.
Rockin' Recipes for Autism is available in limited numbers, so order your copy online at rockinrecipesforautism.com.