Artist in the Kitchen (podcast)Sep 28th, 2012 | By Cecilia | Category: Featured Articles, podcast, the show
SCROLL TO BOTTOM OF PAGE TO FIND OUT HOW YOU CAN HELP TEST RECIPES
FOR MICHAEL FRACASSO’S NEW COOKBOOK
I drove to Michael Fracasso‘s South Austin, Texas home on a late spring day in a heavy rainstorm to talk about his passions.
I’ve known Michael for years, having met him when I worked at commercial music radio stations in Austin. Michael is a singer-songwriter whose music spans country and rock. He sings in that high tenor, the quality of which evokes the “high lonesome” sound of early country. The storytelling in his songs is compelling, and his voice is at times haunting, which draws people in.
Yet, for all the magic and soulfulness of his music and voice, when I heard that he was a gardener and home cook, that’s when I really started to pay attention.
Michael grew up in an Ohio steel mill town to Italian immigrant parents. Like many immigrants of the time, his folks grew a large vegetable garden; they also had an orchard, and made their own wine. He told me his mother was a wonderful cook, and while he was not allowed to try his hand at the art of cooking — anything – when he lived at home, he was just as glad to be the beneficiary of her culinary genius, and grew up eating beautiful, fresh, homemade meals.
Once he left home for college that all changed.
“There was nothing to eat,” he laughed when telling me of this shocking discovery of his youth. Having grown up on plentiful fresh, wholesome, homemade food, convenience and packaged foods held no allure for him — so he decided it was time to learn to feed himself. “I still have my first cookbook; I bought it on the street for a dime. It’s this paperback Italian Cookbook.”
The book was merely a guide because “I already knew how food was supposed to taste” and so the rest was experimentation.
He’s been perfecting his cooking for years, trying out a variety of cuisines, but always coming back home — to the flavors of Italy. He cooks every day for his wife and children.And of course he cooks for his friends.
Michael Fracasso even cooks in public, teaching classes in Austin and on the road when he’s touring. His love of good food — especially Italian food — has lead him to begin work on a self-published cookbook Artist in the Kitchen (A Brief Autobiography in Food). He’s filling the volume with stories from his life and recipes from his table. “I hope to have to out before the end of this year .”
This is a test…it is only a test.
Before he releases the book, he hopes to have outside help testing the recipes, and that’s where you come in. If you are interested in testing a recipe or two from Michael’s upcoming cookbook in your home kitchen, then go to the Facebook page he set up for his book, “like” it and let him know your interest.
Testers are responsible for purchasing their own ingredients; there will be no reimbursement.
If you agree to test a recipe, Michael would appreciate constructive feedback about the ease and clarity of the recipe itself, as well as any slight tweaks or changes you suggest. Michael said testers will receive recognition in his book.