Tuesday, April 07, 2020

Notes from Musicians' Kitchens

British mezzo-soprano Jennifer Johnston has launched a super initiative to help raise money for our crisis-stricken musicians and to inspire us in our cooking efforts too. Its name is Notes from Musicians' Kitchens. Jennifer writes:

Jennifer Johnston
photo: Helena Cooke
The musical world across all genres has been very seriously affected by the shutdown, and there are millions of musicians and music professionals worldwide who are out of work and fearing for both their futures and the future of the industry as a whole. It has now fallen to charities like Help Musicians U.K. to take up the slack, offering one-off hardship grants to those musicians affected by the crisis, but their £5million money pot will not last forever. 

It’s now time for creatives to be creative and so I have established Notes From Musicians Kitchens (www.notesfrommusicianskitchens.com), a subscription-only digital recipe resource, with a £10 one-off access fee, of which 100% goes to Help Musicians U.K. The aim is also to publish a cookbook which will hopefully be sold worldwide. 

Food is not just a universal need but also a universal link to our homes and communities, and a universal pleasure, just like music, and so, in the midst of this worldwide shutdown, I want food to bring us all together as a global community, and help to ensure that there is a music industry to return to after the shutdown, not leaving any of our colleagues and friends behind. 

Notes For Musicians’ Kitchens is a means of digitally breaking bread with each other, of sharing and appreciating our diverse food cultures, of creating new memories. Once lockdown is over, food will be used to celebrate our freedom and our ability to give each other hugs again, not to mention throw parties. 

The recipes are from all over the world, and all have a personal story attached, we all have our own stories to tell which are as important as the food. There’s also a section for those who don’t like to cook, or who are too busy and want an easy life, and there will be plenty of vegan / gluten-free / vegetarian / dairy-free / Keto recipes, so there should be something for everyone. 

We’re always accepting submissions, so if you’re a music professional, please think about it, The Rules are below. My thanks go to those who have submitted their recipes and told their stories so far, and to those who are helping me run this project behind the scenes, especially Madeleine Pierard, my right-hand woman who has designed the website. You can also follow this project on Instagram: @notesfrommusicianskitchens. 

The aim is to raise as much money as possible for musicians in need, and whilst the subscription to our site is a donation in itself, we also have a fundraising page, linked directly to Help Musicians, in the event you wish to donate more than £10: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/notesfrommusicianskitchens. Please give generously, and please help us to spread the work by telling everyone you know about the project.

I have asked musicians to tell me what food means to them: 

Food is culture
Food is habit
Food is nourishment
Food is health
Food is identity
Food is memories
Food is comfort
Food is family
Food is community
Food is universal
Food is life
Food is home
Food is LOVE

*recipe submissions will be accepted from music professionals only
*only one recipe per person will be accepted
*it must be your own recipe and free from copyright
*by submitting you agree to your recipe being donated and published without any payment
*not all recipes will be selected for the physical cookbook but all will be published on the website
*it would be enormously helpful if you could send us a photo of your finished dish with your recipe
*when you submit a recipe, please could you also identify yourself and any website you would liked listed with your submission

Please consider subscribing or, if you're a musician yourself, contributing a favourite recipe!