In Your Ear: Vegan Chef Bryant Terry

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Coconut buscuits with Swedish techno, mushroom sauce with jazz and candied pecans with Bjork. In our next installment of "In Your Ear" Chef Bryant Terry, author of "Vegan Soul Kitchen," tells us what's on his playlist while making Thanksgiving dinner.


Thanksgiving is tomorrow, and eco-chef Bryant Terry has a few suggestions for a musical menu, something to listen to while you're cooking the big feast. The songs accompany recipes in his cookbook, "Vegan Soul Kitchen." Bryant Terry tells us more about his holiday playlist for the feature we call In Your Ear.

Mr. BRYANT TERRY (Chef): Growing up, whenever food was around, music was around: my uncles crooning in the background or my mother playing the piano. So, for the double-maple-coated pecans, I chose the song "Hunter" by Bjork.

(Soundbite of song "Hunter")

Ms. BJORK GUDMUNDSDOTTIR (Singer): (Singing) I'm going hunting.

Mr. TERRY: And just my memories of eating pecans involve me foraging in my grandfather's house because he had this giant pecan tree in his front yard. And so it just reminded me of just being this kind of, like, urban hunter.

(Soundbite of song "Hunter")

Mr. TERRY: Next up is the sweet cornmeal, coconut-butter drop biscuits.

(Soundbite of song "Turn Left")

Mr. TERRY: For that particular recipe, I chose "Turn Left" for the soundtrack by a Swedish group, Little Dragon.

(Soundbite of song "Turn Left")

Mr. TERRY: You know, they're one of my favorite groups. When I was writing this book, their album had just come out and I was listening to it just all day with lead singer Yukimi crooning over it. And so, you know, her voice is so syrupy and sweet and sultry, it just went perfectly with those sweet cornmeal, coconut-butter drop biscuits.

(Soundbite of song "Turn Left")

LITTLE DRAGON (Musical Group): (Singing) Walking down the stairs...

Mr. TERRY: Finally, the smothered seitan medallions in mixed-mushroom gravy.

(Soundbite of song "Brown")

Mr. TERRY: The soundtrack for that is "Brown" by Roy Hargrove, the trumpeter. I often describe my cooking as jazz cooking because there's a lot of improvisation in there. You know, I like to start with the structure, the recipe, but so often I just go to the farmer's market, see what's available and then, you know, just create from there.

(Soundbite of song "Brown")

Mr. TERRY: When you're making that 'shroom stock, and you're cutting up those mushrooms, and you're boiling that stock, "Shroom Music" by Quasimoto would be the perfect soundtrack.

(Soundbite of song "Shroom Music")

Mr. TERRY: A lot of the recipes were inspired by music. I mean, there are a number of recipes in here, I was listening to a song and actually, literally, an image for a recipe came up. But it's songs that might have inspired a recipe or a song that I might have been listening to when I testing the recipe, or it might be a song that I felt would be the perfect accompaniment to that dish when you're eating it.

(Soundbite of song "Shroom Music")

LUDDEN: That's eco-chef Bryant Terry, author of the cookbook "Vegan Soul Kitchen," describing what's playing in his ear. Coming up, Bryant explains how to cook some traditional and not-so-traditional Thanksgiving fare with a vegan twist. Stay tuned to TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Jennifer Ludden.

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