Food and Music Come Together For Supper Studio, a DIY Dinner Theater

Photo: Deidre Schoo
Dinner and a show is the classic night out for a reason. Eating and enjoying music together is a primal, human urge. The same kind of urge that keeps us existing in groups--and limits nights spent eating tuna straight from the can while leaning over the kitchen sink. Laura Leebove and Tracy Candido took the folk standard and gave it a remix. Behold, Supper Studio, an experience involving live music and food inspired by the music itself.

See also: Supper Studio: DIY Dinner Theater

Leebove's cooking-ignited-by-music blog, Eating the Beats, and Candido's arts event production background led the two to bake up the blueprint earlier this year. "One cold night we met for tea," Candido says. "I was like, 'This is gonna be awesome, trust me.'" Leebove started skeptical.

All those nerves for nothin'. Supper Studio sold out their pilot run. The June 23 event featured alt-folk outfit and Eating the Beats vets Pearl and the Beard. The upcoming installment, Sunday, Nov. 17, revolves around psych-pop crew TEEN.

With each show, Leebove and Candido map out all of the courses themselves, drawing cues from the performing band's discography. Looking over the menu for the first event and mini-descriptions of each item, the care and creativity the duo takes is evident. For instance, take the wildly popular pudding dessert, as detailed below:

Dessert is a play on Pearl and the Beard's name. It's a vanilla tapioca pudding with strawberry rhubarb sauce and shortbread cookie crumbles; the pudding is sweet and soft, with tapioca 'pearls,' and the cookie crumbs are the rough contrast of the 'beard'--which also relates to the different textures and voices in Pearl and the Beard's songs. The strawberry-rhubarb is a classic, timeless flavor with a bright color; and all the elements are layered because their songs are all built by layering everyone's vocals in different ways.

Leebove, an editor for an online music store, sharpened her audio vocabulary eons ago. Using food as a palette--transitioning aural nuances to tastebuds--laid a brand new terrain. "These bands get written about all the time, but not in this way," Leebove says.

Pearl and the Beard's Jocelyn Mackenzie agrees. "Laura not only identified unique characteristics of our sound, but also created a meal that was thoughtful, creative, delicious, and totally seamless," she wrote in an email. "While a tapioca 'pearl' may have been a more obvious pairing, who really wants to eat tapioca? ...Laura's dessert paired it with strawberry rhubarb syrup and shortbread cookie crumbs in a way that elevated the tapioca to something completely heavenly and magical."

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