I started Food Punk to create a space to celebrate food and music. Where else could I herald the magic of both Ramps and Pusha T? Cooking, like music, is an art. Both can be visceral, sensory experiences that transport, inspire and 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 bring you this series: HEARD! highlighting the music enthusiasts behind the line, the bar, the pass and the pen.

Jay Pierce is the Executive Chef at Lucky 32 Southern Kitchen in Greensboro and Cary, NC. He is generally known as a smart ass that came in third on Jeopardy. He loves to eat, drink and be merry. He blogs here!

What was the first live music performance you attended?

My mom, dad and little brother all went to see AC/DC on the Who Made Who tour in July 1986 at the New Orleans Lakefront Arena. It was definitely the loudest show that I’ve been to (except for Ministry at Lolapalooza 2, and THAT was outside!) Brian Johnson hitting that bell with a sledgehammer for the encore will stay with me forever.

What was the most recent (show, concert etc.)?
Drive By Truckers at Ziggy’s June 2013 Winston Salem, NC. Great songwriters, they have a great following, and the live show was amazing.

What album/artist changed/defined/etc your life?
I first heard Master of Puppets in May 1986. Metallica came to town opening for Ozzy on the Ultimate Sin tour. My neighbor came back ranting about this awesome band that opened for Ozzy. He let me borrow the tape and I played it nonstop for two days, until he asked for it back. Six months later I bought Reign in Blood for five bucks off of a dude who’s mother was afraid that he was going to be possessed and made him sell the tape.

Also, moving back to New Orleans and hearing Smashing Pumpkins and Nirvana on WTUL and having my mind blown as Gish and Nevermind came out simultaneously. That led to a shift in the music industry, where “alternative” became a currency, eventually imploding (the idea of an alternative subculture and how the internet killed it is delightfully explored in “The Authenticity Hoax,’ by Andrew Potter) One more mind-blowing, life-changing moment was working in a Jamaican restaurant in Eugene, Oregon, listening my way through “the Story of Jamaican Music” box set, and the dishwasher introducing me to the Fela Kuti catalog on Shenachie Records. I felt like such a radical. That music was so refreshing in the late 90’s, when music was severely lacking a message.

Do you have a musical equivalent to a guilty pleasure?
Jesus Christ Superstar with vocals by Ian Gillian of Deep Purple. I grew up listening to the original cast recording on vinyl, and I could never get into to the movie, because there was a different Jesus. A buddy of mine listens to it every Easter. Every time I listen to SoundGarden, I feel like this album made a big impression on Chris Cornell too.

What album is your go to for when you wanna smash stuff and life is sticking it to you?
My car CD player has Black Sabbath Vol.4 stuck in it right now, but the most cathartic music to blare out of your car speakers would be Slayer -Decade of Aggression or Suicidal Tendencies first album or Stormtroopers of Death or Straight Outta Compton

What album is your go to for fist-pumping-this-is-the-best-ever-happiness times?
Check Your Head or Paul ‘s Boutique, ACDC –’74 Jailbreak, Butthole Surfers – Independent Worm Saloon

What is on your turntable at home right now?
Mickey Newberry -Frisco Mabel Joy, but I need a new belt, so I haven’t heard it for a while. Drive-By Truckers -The Dirty South, as I’m writing this.

Is there anything about your love of music that you’d like to add?
There is a soundtrack to my life. songs are always playing in my head. Chefs, like musicians, are performers whose true art is consumed live, when transcribed in a cookbook, or captured in a recording, the art loses a dimension, a vitality and is more difficult to understand, than a full body experience.

When or how you listen to music?
Driving, on my phone, or on my home stereo w/ big speakers like an old guy.

Favorite genres?
Rock, late-eighties rap,

Desert island albums or songs?
Siamese Dream -Smashing Pumpkins
Small Change – Tom Waits
Rage Against The Machine
Murder The Mountains Red Fang
Age of Winters – The Sword
Black Sabbath Vol 4
Amerikkka’s Most Wanted -Ice Cube
The Bends – Radiohead
Disintegration -The Cure
Funkify Your Life -The Meters
Original Gangster – Ice T
World Wide Live -The Scorpions
Live After Death -Iron Maiden
Mellow Gold -Beck

What do you play in the kitchen?

It’s all in my head


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