I started Food Punk to create a space to talk food and music. Where else could I herald the magic of both Ramps and Pusha T? Cooking (and eating) like music, is an art, both can be visceral, sensory experiences that transport, inspire and even define us. I’ve often found that those who play with knives are also into ‘deep cuts’ of another nature. It is in this spirit that I am starting a series: HEARD! highlighting the music enthusiasts behind the line, the bar, the pass and the pen.

Drew Robinson III is executive chef and pitmaster at Jim N Nick’s based out of Birmingham, Alabama, a member of The Fatback Collective and an all around awesome dude. (He is also responsible for my first bite of pimento cheese that was made by an actual Southerner, even though it happened in NYC.)

photo courtesy of Jim N Nick's

photo courtesy of Jim N Nick’s

What was the first live music performance you attended?
The Ramones.

What was the most recent (last concert, etc)?
Robert Randolph and The Family Band with Anders Osborne

What album/artist changed/defined/left an indelible impression on your life?
Bob Dylan. I was into punk and hardcore music almost exclusively and in a real rough place in my life. Not much focus and a lot of anger. A good friend out of the blue one day said, “Listen to this.” and he played Masters of War (off of The Freehwheelin’ Bob Dylan). It changed my life. Everything I loved about punk rock sort of fell into a place of maturity when I heard that song. And really from that point forward my ears were opened to music and the message that music carried in a totally different and more expansive way. Because of that musical journey, I was able to move past that hard part of my life and really start to grow as a person. To this day Bob Dylan is still my favorite musician. And what’s cool is the family tree of music he has produced and how many musicians from all genres love him. There’s a lot of depth there.

Do you have a musical equivalent to a guilty pleasure?
Like something I only listen to when no one else is around? The Beach Boys. I love the Pet Sounds album but not a lot of people get it, so I usually listen to it when I’m alone.
If you mean like an indulgent sort of pleasure it’s Prince. Listening to Purple Rain is the musical equivalent of eating a pint of pimento cheese. It’s a totally indulgent album for me.

What album or music is your go to for when life is sticking it to you?
Black Flag (Pre Rollins era, to be clear)

What album or music is your go to for fist-pumping-this-is-the-best-ever-happiness times?
Van Halen for fist pumping, the Grateful Dead for “best ever happiness times”

What is on your turntable/MP3 player/etc. at home right now?
Sam Cooke Portrait of a Legend

The greatest thing about music for me is how it interacts with everything in life. My life and music are so intertwined that they could never come apart. That may be odd since I have no professional connection to music, just a love for it. But music is such a vital part of so many things I do. Food and music are as close together as any two creative disciplines I can think of.

I mean if you look at how much music has been inspired and written about food it’s obvious. I’m hard pressed to think of a really good chef that doesn’t have some sort of passionate connection to music that inspires them. The two play off of each other and inspire each other perfectly. Music makes life more beautiful and joyful. It just makes life better.
That’s why I love music.


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