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Steve Albini: Legendary Recording Engineer, Curmudgeon And ... Foodie?

By Michele Lenni in Arts & Entertainment on May 13, 2011 8:30PM

Illustration by Michele Lenni/Chicagoist
Chicago's Steve Albini is probably best know as the man behind the velvet curtain for many in your face, rough and tumble rock albums that defined the '90s like PJ Harvey's "Rid of Me," The Pixies' "Sufer Rosa" or one of the ultimate classics of the decade, Nirvana's "In Utero." His well-known stature as a sonically charged recording engineer and massively loud and distorted guitarist for his down and dirty noise-punk band Shellac is only equaled by his reputation as difficult and sometimes controversial curmudgeon whose opinions have ruffled the feathers of of the likes of indie to mainstream heavy hitters Sonic Youth. We won't even get started on his stage banter which has ranged from friendly to completely fucking caustic, calling audience members names and generally just being kind psuedo-hard-ass trapped in the body of a flannel wrapped, skinny, horn-rimmed glasses wearing indie rocker.

Little did we know that the man has a total and utter soft spot for foodie-fare. On his blog "mariobatalivoice" the man geeks out about everything from his love of breaking into an egg yolk on a fresh plate of orzo to the virtues of a farm raised chicken. Dare we say that he's gone soft on us? Albini's blog consists of many on the fly Italian with a distinctly American flare -- and by this we don't mean your typical pasta joint with red checkered table clothes and pictures of Sinatra on the wall. Albini puts as much passion into his cooking as he does his music with recipes that got our mouth watering like Penne With Plums, Bleu Cheese and Ham and Orzo With Egg Yolk And Tomato. Though the man could use a better camera to photograph these foodie treasures, we know we'll continue to tune in to see what the man's cooking and we hope to continue to see the softer side of Albini.