Cooking with Rockstars is a video podcast at the intersection of two of my passions: cooking and indie rock music. In it, I chat with my favorite artists about what they like to cook and eat…occasionally, I even get to cook with them! Originally called “The Jenville Show: Cooking with Rockstars,” launched in 2003, starting well before YouTube appeared and video on the web exploded. Watch for new and previously unreleased episodes coming soon!
About Host and Producer,
I am a graphic designer, author, food enthusiast, and lifelong music fan. Professionally, I’m best known for my work in the world of web design. I was the designer of the first commercial web site, Global Network Navigator, in 1993 and wrote one of the very first books on web design, Designing for the Web, in 1994. Since then I’ve written 13 books, including the well-known Web Design in a Nutshell and the best-selling Learning Web Design, now in its 5th edition. I also co-founded the ARTIFACT Conference that explored best practices for designing sites for all mobile devices and all the people who use them. I’m currently looking for my next “thing.” Cooking with Rockstars remains one of my all-time favorite projects.
The Back Story
Back in 2002, some friends were bugging me to do a Martha Stewart-esque cable access television show that combined cooking, music, crafts, and technology, topics I frequently wrote about on my personal site. I was running the idea by my musician friend, Jesse Blatz (of the band, The Fly Seville), and he said “Ok, I’ll be on your show, but I also want to cook!” A lightbulb went off… focus only on cooking and music and somehow merge them together.
I didn’t know how to make a TV show (and nobody watched cable access anyway), but I did know how to build a website. I realized I could just record interviews on my personal video camera (this is years before smartphones) and post the videos on the web. The Jenville Show was born!
Although I had originally wanted to actually cook with the rockstars, my best access to them was when they were in town on tour, so most of the interviews were grabbed around soundcheck. A dark, noisy club at soundcheck time is a terrible place to conduct a video interview, so you’ll see that many of the early shows were done on street corners, stairwells, tour busses, broom closets… anywhere that might be a little more quiet. Between less-than-ideal locations and the state of digital video in 2002, the early episode quality is pretty poor. Sorry about that.
In 2007, I renamed the show the more descriptive Cooking with Rockstars. In addition to the new name, I got the help of a director, James Holland, who did the shooting and editing for each episode. Prior to that, I did it all myself (which you can probably tell). In addition to vastly improving the production quality, James had the brilliant idea that we should do the interviews in a limo. Having our own space allowed us to take our time setting up the lighting and mics. When the artists were available, we whooshed them into the limo, poured champagne, conducted the interview, and sent them on their way. Limos are fun.
About This Site
What you are looking at is the new Cooking with Rockstars site design that rolled out in 2020 thanks to the generous support of Jeffrey Zeldman and his Special Projects team at Automattic. It is hosted by Pressable and powered by WordPress.
- Concept: Jennifer Niederst Robbins
- Web site design & production: Sonia Gabella, Nudge Design
- Project management: WordPress team at Automatic
- Video editing, pre-2005: All episodes posted prior to 2005 were
hacked togetheredited by Final Cut Pro novice, Jennifer Robbins.
- Video editing, 2007 onward: The Ben Kweller and Rufus Wainwright episodes were edited by the very talented Cherry Arnold. All other videos released in 2007 were edited by talented video and filmmaker, James Holland.
- Intro motion graphics: Bryan Boyer, Cultural Embassador of Jenville
- Theme Song: Jeff Robbins
- Camera: (see credits posted with individual interviews) Jeff Robbins, Lane Becker, Ellie Lee, Liam Lynch, Josh Stenger, Adam Roffman, James Holland, Ryan King