The Slayer Pizza: Chopped Fra Mani toscano, soppressata, finocchiona, Cypress Grove “Lamb Chopper” cheese, house marinara, signature communion wafer crust, and an altar wine gastrique.
Rice and Bread, an online “food and music magazine,” hosts the “perfect pairings” series in which craft beers or decadent food creations are paired with classic metal albums. Our favorite entries in this series come courtesy of Chef John Hurkes, whose brutal recipes are absolutely inspired.
Chef John Hurkes’ latest creation is the “Black Sabbath Pizza”:
Ingredients: English banger sausage, smoked mozzarella, squid ink béchamel sauce, purple basil leaf, sweet lavender honey, and an authentic Mapledurham Watermill crust.
Hurkes’ notes on his creations read like a foodie Forry Ackerman:
What is this pizza that stands before me? A slice in black which points at me. Just like the conception of heavy metal, the Black Sabbath pizza is cooked from scratch. The flour is stoner-ground and rises from the early ’70s. The 12” crust is pressed from an actual bread recipe written by an “Evil Woman,” the miller’s wife of the Mapledurham Watermill in England. Spinning like a record, Ozzy Osbourne’s legendary vocals cascade into a wood-fired wheel of flavour riffles. Would you like a “N.I.B.”ble? Finger-picking through each slice, Tony Iommi’s hand-crafted guitar solos resonate through “Wicked World” and march across heavy slabs of sausage in “Children of the Grave.” Shrouded in the creamy black sauce, Geezer Butler’s bass lines find “Solitude” under a blanket of delicious smoked cheese as Bill Ward’s drums stick to the honey and herb “Sweet Leaf.” As the pizza is finished and the beer bottles burn out, you’ll be left “Into the Void.” Soon the world will love you, sweet pizza.
Other favorite Chef John Hurkes’ metal meals include “The Danzig Juicy Lucifuge… the Mother of all burgers”
Ingredients: New Jersey black-angus beef, blue-cheese Lucifuge, the onions of Christ, and blackest of the black BBQ sauce. Served on a house-made Twist of Pain bun.
“Exodus pork belly blood feast”
Ingredients: Fire-roasted pork belly crusted with Black Carbon salt harvested from the Dead Sea, grilled and thrashed blackberry-infused blood-sausage puree, smoke-poached egg yolks, purple fingerling potatoes, seared orange, and wasabi micro greens.
“Nuclear Assault Nachos”
Ingredients: Fire-braised pig confit, pickled onions and jalapenos, nuclear cheese reactor, and OC-17 police grade pepper-sprayed multi-continental fried chips.
We spoke with Chef John Hurkes about the series and his inspirations.
How did the “Perfect Pairings” idea develop, and what makes for a “perfect pairing”?
Chef John Hurkes: It was originally developed pairing metal albums with craft beer, but it sort of shifted towards food when Jason Schreurs of Rice and Bread Magazine approached me about pairing some of my favorite metal albums with my food creations. To make a “Perfect Pairing” you need a great metal record, quality ingredients, and some fucking metal ingenuity.
How has heavy metal informed your culinary style?
CJH: Metal crossover cooking can go a lot of different ways. There’s so many different genres and albums to be inspired by. However, it’s tricky sometimes developing new recipes and styles. It’s not like you are going to listen to an Electric Wizard album and decide to slow cook a doom metal burrito in an electric microwave for an hour. There is a degree of sophistication. When you are a serious metal head it changes your overall output in life. So it has definitely influenced what i’m doing with these dishes and how I will continue to cook them in the future.
You mentioned to me before that you traded heavy metal records with a friend from England for a cookbook signed by the miller’s wife of the last working watermill on the River Thames. You used a bread recipe from that book to create the Black Sabbath Mapledurham Watermill crust. Are there any other instances where metal has been an inroad to new recipes or cookbooks?
CJH: For sure. Metal is always an influence on how I develop new recipes. Sometimes there are different influences like religion or say politics. When I made the Nuclear Assault Nachos I thought homeland security was going to raid my kitchen shelves. It was the ultimate nacho riot as the pig confit was fire-braised and the resistant multi-continental chips got pepper sprayed in the cross fire. I feel like i’m always on a special heavy metal path with my next dish.
All of the photos of your creations look absolutely delicious, but we can’t eat the photos. Are there plans to share these recipes with the rest of the world, or are they guarded secrets?
CJH: They are guarded in a metal recipe box. But i’ve been discussing with my friend Jason Schreurs over at Rice and Bread Magazine about a collaboration with a cookbook that features each of the metal dishes. In the meantime, we’ve got other evil metal cuisine to unveil over at Rice and Bread.
I’m going to name some bands, and you tell me what kind of food immediately comes to mind. We’ll start with Iron Maiden.
CJH: A virtuosic metal salad with “Trooper” battlefield greens.
CJH: Probably a Japanese guitar shredded squid dish with a sweet red chili sauce. Law of Devil’s Land is a great album.
CJH: It would have to make you go BRRRR! Perhaps a stout beer ice cream float topped with chopped bacon and a burnt and candied communion wafer stave church steeple.
CJH: The course of the pharoahs is served at the sound of the dinner bell. That’s all I got.
CJH: Morbid pig tails.
CJH: Is there such thing as weed-fed beef? Maybe a burger with beer soaked cheese, an IPA mustard, booze sloshed pickles, and a few other ingredients I shouldn’t mention for legal reasons. You would be wasted by the time you finished eating it.
CJH: I’m thinking tequila braised goat shoulder hacked apart with a machete and piled into tacos with in an unholy mole crafted from an evil trinity of chile peppers.
What is the most evil ingredient in any metal-inspired meal?
CJH: Communion wafers. You can bread anything with them and they cook amazingly in a lake of grease fire. I even made the delicious “Slayer Pizza” with them. For a while I was convinced that my kitchen was cursed after I made that pizza. Every Sunday for several months, my kitchen appliances would break or some crisis would happen. Evil cooking has no boundaries.
Carcass-inspired surgical veggie sammich. “Welcome to the poser slaughter. It’s an eight-inch vegetarian mouth-thrasher’s abattoir.”
Drool over more crossover edibles at Rice and Bread.