Funded! This project was successfully funded on January 31, 2013.

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Forty-four New Orleans musicians invite you into their kitchens to share their stories and recipes in this full-color hardcover book.

The Gravy—In the Kitchen with New Orleans Musicians is based on the much-loved OffBeat magazine series with the same name (it's been running monthly since September 2008). This cookbook will fill your ears and your belly, whether you choose breakfast with Mystikal, or lunch with Irma Thomas and her Macaroni and Cheese, or Creole Squash for supper at Big Al Carson’s house with a side of Antoinette K-Doe’s Cornbread. With forty-four first-person accounts from musicians and more than two hundred photographs, this book digs into the deep connections between New Orleans music and food. Almost every musical genre in New Orleans is represented in these pages: jazz and brass, bounce and blues, Cajun and zydeco, singer-songwriter and Mardi Gras Indian music, hard rock and indie rock, hip-hop and rap, funk and pop, rhythm ’n’ blues, electronica, and world music.

This project has received support from the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and Foundation, as well as the Threadhead Cultural Foundation, but I need your help in order to cover some of the rather enormous printing cost, which at present is coming out of my own pocket. I've been working on this project for almost five years now, doing everything from interviews to photography, layout and design, and I'm absolutely thrilled to have Dr. John do the introduction to the book and share one of his recipes, helping to spread the love of New Orleans music and food. I couldn't resist putting his awesome quote on the cover: "My favorite thing with squirrels is eating squirrel brains. I like to crack them heads open and just chew on the brains."

If this project turns a profit, I have promised to pay the grant money I received from Threadhead Cultural Foundation forward to the New Orleans Musicians' Clinic, which remains the only source of medical care for many local musicians without health insurance.

For future updates on The Gravy, please become a fan on Facebook, at facebook.com/YouAreWhereYouEat.

Advance praise for the book:

“This is one of the most endearing books about New Orleans. With dazzling style, Elsa Hahne takes her readers into the homes and kitchens of New Orleans musicians to see another side of them. Their stories and favorite recipes come to life in a harmonious and ever-vibrant whole. This is a wonderful compilation of culinary and musical cultures, and a testimony to the habits of all those heroes whose rhythms make this city move.” —Susan Tucker, Curator of Books and Records at Tulane University and founder of the New Orleans Culinary History Group

“Elsa Hahne has done it again! The Gravy is a perfect follow-up to her remarkable first cookbook, You Are Where You Eat, creating the perfect fusion of food and music—the foundational elements of the culture of New Orleans. She establishes an extreme level of ‘sympatico’ with the people she interviews, allowing them to tell their stories in their own voice.” —Harold Sylvester, Actor, Writer, Producer

Here is a list of all the musicians and recipes in the book, in alphabetical order:

10th Ward Buck | Mardi Gras Sauce for Wings, Brint Anderson | Mother Kitty’s Curry Glazed Chicken, Theresa Andersson | Preserved Meyer Lemons, John Autin | Yankee Gumbo, Marcia Ball | Smothered Pork Chops, Sunpie Barnes | Blackened Shrimp, Monk Boudreaux | Baby Alligator Gravy, John Boutté | Glorious Oyster Pie, Big Al Carson | Creole Squash, Susan Cowsill | Paneed Chicken, Dancing Man 504 | Red Beans with Hot Sausage Balls, Debbie Davis | Baked Ziti, DJ Captain Charles | Oatmeal, Dr. John | Fried Frog Legs, David Doucet | Crab Stew, Johnette Downing | Sausage Mambo, Andrew Duhon | Grilled Chicken Tacos, Lars Edegran | Madras Chicken à la Lars, Helen Gillet | Belgian Fries, Michael Girardot | Corn Pudding, Leroy Jones | Smothered Okra and Maple Cream, Antoinette K-Doe | K-Doe Cornbread, Seguenon Kone | Okra Eggplant Stew with Oxtail, Martin Krusche | Vegetable Curry, Julia LaShae | Grandma Bula’s Mole, Miss Sophie Lee | Korean Egg Rolls, Ingrid Lucia | Lemon Garlic Pasta, Barbara Menendez | Crawfish Stew, Trixie Minx | Trixie-Tini and Blue Disco Lemonade, Mystikal | Mystikal’s Breakfast, Charmaine Neville | Chocolate Strawberry Short Cake, Rick Olivier | Creole String Beans, Renard Poché | Citrus Cocktail, Gia Prima | Pasta e Piselli (Pasta with Peas), Eric and Ryan Rogers | Cajun Ribs, Wanda Rouzan | Bread Pudding, Greg Schatz | Grilled Mini-Pizza St. Claude, George Schmidt | BBQ Shrimp, Irma Thomas | Macaroni and Cheese, Johnny Vidacovich | Getting Ready Spaghetti, James Westfall | Smoked Brisket, June Yamagishi | Japanese Pork Chops, Sean Yseult | Reindeer Gumbo with Quail

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

If I end up with hundreds of unsold books (and if investing all my savings in this project turns out to be a huge mistake), I will build a little house out of books for my kids.

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  • Pledge $25 or more
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    89 backers

    You get a book! I'll mail it to you, for free, within the Continental U.S. You'll be frying Dr. John's frog legs, blackening shrimp, and baking bread pudding in no time, and you'll be happy. Also, you'll save $5 off the retail price, support New Orleans and Louisiana music and musicians, and make it possible to print more books like this in the future.

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  • Pledge $30 or more
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    65 backers

    You get a signed book! Make sure to let me know if you want it signed in a more general way, "Enjoy!" or more personally, "To Ian, because your cat died. Love, E." Then I'll mail it to you, or to someone else, for free, within the Continental U.S. You or someone equally worthy will be holding a full-color 9-inch square of happiness in your hands, and save $5 off the retail price, while supporting New Orleans and Louisiana music and musicians, and making it possible for more books like this to be printed in the future.

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    11 backers

    You get a signed book mailed to you ANYWHERE in the world! (I'm adding this reward for you Aussies and Swedes—you know who you are!) You'll be frying Dr. John's frog legs, blackening shrimp, and baking bread pudding in no time, and you'll be happy. You'll also support New Orleans and Louisiana music and musicians, and make it possible to print more books like this in the future.

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    17 backers

    You get a signed book, plus a signed, limited edition fine art print on Hahnemuhle Baryta paper (8.5 inch by 11 inch) of one photo (choose among 203 photos!) from inside the book. There are portraits of musicians, photos of musicians cooking, photos of their food, as well as photos of musicians performing in clubs and at local festivals. You pick!

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  • Pledge $500 or more
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    0 backers

    You get a signed book, plus a signed, limited edition large fine art print on Hahnemuhle Baryta paper (17 inch by 22 inch) of one photo (choose among 203 photos!) from inside the book. There are portraits of musicians, photos of musicians cooking, photos of their food, as well as photos of musicians performing in clubs and at local festivals. You pick! I'll also share my favorite old-school (magic) vanilla frosting recipe.

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Funding period

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