Tattooed culinary maverick Sam Mason believes rock ’n’ roll and food go together like, well, pork belly and miso butterscotch. The chef (formerly of Manhattan molecular gastronomy hot spots wd-50 and Tailor) served the dish and other inventive selections for journalists while promoting his IFC series “Dinner with the Band” at the Television Critics Association press tour in Pasadena, Calif. over the weekend.
“At the end of the day, cooking really is creative,” Mason said, explaining why the music and culinary worlds are so intertwined. “Cooking is a fulfilling hobby — like playing music, you can criticize yourself and instantly fix it, instantly do it better the next time. It’s a giving hobby, as well as a forgiving hobby.”
In “Dinner with the Band,” Mason hosts some of his favorite musicians in a Williamsburg loft, chatting with his guests while re-creating their favorite dishes with his clever cooking sense. Next season, Mason invites over the old-timey country/blues outfit The Devil Makes Three, who provided the rollicking entertainment at the press tour party.
It was a fun, low-key affair served with a side of the surreal courtesy of Thu Tran, host of the wildly imaginative “Food Party.” During the event, Tran introduced her series to critics via an appropriately eccentric, hilarious PowerPoint presentation demonstrating her love of eggs. Props from the show — including Tran’s handmade cardboard sets and colorful puppets — decorated the ballroom.
New seasons of both series premiere April 27 on IFC.