Chefs may be the new rock stars, but at this Memorial Day weekend's BottleRock festival in Napa Valley, a motley crew of veteran rockers better known for shredding guitars than shredding carrots managed to flip the script. As Green Day bassist Mike Dirnt joked during his culinary performance, “It’s always good to have a backup plan.” This year's fest attracted a 40,000-strong crowd, who turned up to see performances by Florence + The Machine and The Red Hot Chili Peppers on the main stage, and a whole mess of food acts on the diminutive culinary stage—which had its share of rock-and-roll-style pyrotechnics and just about as many tattooed limbs on display. Here, 5 of the most memorable moments.
1. Gordon Ramsay and the Burnt Scallops
Chef Gordon Ramsay kicked off Day 1 with his usual tricks, as his tried to humiliate culinary stage host Liam Mayclem (aka KCBS Foodie Chap) in a grueling Master Chef-like crash course. Not surprisingly, the Michelin-starred Ramsay was ultimately “unimpressed” with Mayclem’s ability to cook scallops properly, calling them “disgusting” and tossing the burnt seafood dish across the stage, causing the plates to shatter dramatically as he dropped multiple "F" bombs. Mayclem replied, "It was an honor to be scolded by you." But the bellicose chef was suddenly all smiles when it was time to hawk his latest endorsement, the Philips Airfryer, and wasn’t above stopping to take a selfie with his 5,000 adoring fans. Um, celebrities! Just like us! Photo credit: Brian Feinzimer.
2. Funnel Cake Drum-Off
The “Drummers From Another Mother,” Chad Smith of Red Hot Chili Peppers and Taylor Hawkins of Foo Fighters, got schooled by Top Chef Season 6 winner Michael Voltaggio on how to make a savory funnel cake (sundried tomato) before the sous chefs engaged in an epic drum-off. What did they play on? A set of custom-built drum kits created from pots, pans and cutting boards. Who knew copper lids made such rad-sounding cymbals? Of course, the duo couldn’t resist ending the performance by flipping the sets over, in true Keith Moon style.
3. Cheech and Chong's Dopest Cooking Lesson
Living up to their reputation, Up In Smoke stars Cheech and Chong gave the crowd a contact high as the duo lit up on stage while joining Top Chef Masters alum Chris Cosentino for a lesson on smoking some dope dishes (think smoked strawberries, smoked beef and smoked cocktails). The good vibes continued with the audience serenading Cheech, who downed a couple of smoked cocktails, with a rousing rendition of the “Happy Birthday.” Photo credit: Brian Fenizimer.
4. Fish Filet with Green Day
In the “Fish Filet with Green Day” set, platinum sellers Tré Cool and Mike Dirnt of Green Day teamed up with Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto to put the “roll” in “rock and roll” with a massive 132-pound blue fin tuna that was shipped from Japan for a sushi demo. Dirnt was noticeably impressed as the Iron Chef wielded his knife to break down the whole tuna, remarking to the crowd, “This is some Dexter shit here.” Masahuru then spontaneously belted out a Japanese anthem, while Cool and Dirnt entertained the crowd with an impromptu pot-and-pan-percussions solo on the makeshift drum kit. Photo credit: KassieBorreson.
5. It's a Rap
In a segment dubbed “Phood Phighters,” Man v. Food host Adam Richman showed off his rhyming chops to the audience as he freestyle-rapped his entire cioppino cooking demo. He managed to weave in actual song lyrics from his honorary sous chefs, The Pharcyde, along with the recipe instructions. The hip-hop duo were so impressed with Richman that they asked him to join them during their musical set for a verse of “Passin’ Me By.” Maybe Richman should consider joining The Voice as a celebrity coach?
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