Italian composer Gioachino Rossini understood the connection between food and music: His passion for opera (he wrote 39, including The Barber of Seville) was matched only by his devotion to food. “Eating, loving, singing, and digesting are, in truth, the four acts of the comic opera known as life,” he said.
Fast-forward to the 1930s, when Wells’, an after-hours haunt for Harlem jazz musicians, popularized chicken and waffles. And the beat goes on, from Elvis’s love of fried peanut-butter-and-banana sammies to Notorious B.I.G.’s lyrics, which track his rise to fame with food (he “used to eat sardines for dinner” but moved on to “T-bone steak, cheese eggs, and Welch’s grape”).
Now a new generation of chefs and musicians are making the food-music connection. Roots drummer Questlove hosts chefs like Dominique Ansel at “food salons” in his Manhattan home. Action Bronson was a working chef before becoming a rapper and now hosts his own food show on Viceland. R&B legend Patti LaBelle’s sweet potato pie is Internet famous. And Lady Gaga, Gloria Estefan, and Jay-Z are all restaurateurs. Did we mention that Rachael Ray is a walking encyclopedia of rock ’n’ roll?
The world has clearly caught on that great tunes and good grub go together like Johnny and June, so we’re celebrating all the places they overlap—starting with music festivals, where organizers put as much effort into booking catering companies as they do into wrangling headlining acts. Queue up Rachael Ray Every Day's playlists on Spotify when you’re ready to cook or eat. The only thing that can make a delicious meal even better is the perfect soundtrack, so sit down, grab a fork, and listen up!
Whether you’re looking to refuel between sets, snap the most ’grammable treats, or mingle backstage with chefs, this is your food field guide to the foodiest music festivals around.
When musicians pull into town for a gig, they’re not just bringing amps and backup dancers with them—they come with tour riders. The list of demands ranges from fresh flowers and framed portraits to, of course, food. Here are the reported snack asks from 10 picky performers.
Master sommelier Laura Fiorvanti drinks her way through the good and the bad of musician-made vino.
This past March marked the 11th year of Feedback, Rach’s bash during SXSW in Austin for food fans and music lovers. Along with sets from legends and up-and-comers, there was great grub at Stubb’s Bar-B-Q.
Some performers crush it onstage, then make beautiful music in the kitchen, too. From rapper’s delights to superstar sweets, these dishes hit all the right notes.
Feast your eyes on photogenic snacks and sips from the coolest music fests around.