Hello, world. Would you like to see pinup stars bake luscious desserts for you? Of course you would.
A few weeks ago, my friend Dakota wrote to tell me me she was fundraising to write and shoot a dazzling new cookbook called Bombshell Bakers: A Pinup Cookbook. In it, she marries two wonderful things: bombshells, and baked goods. Make that bombshells with their favorite baked goods.
A Brooklyn lady/regular Austin visitor, Dakota and I met a few years ago here in town through a mutual friend. Being both writers as well as grad school vets/modest foodies/shy feminists/cat-lovers, we experienced instant kinship. At the mention of her cookbook, well obviously I had to know more.
I suspect if you’re reading this blog that this kind of thing might tickle your fancy as well, so I asked Dakota if she would say a few words about her delightful new project.
Austin Eavesdropper: What inspired you to create a pinup cookbook?
Dakota: I think my obsession with burlesque and pinups exploded around the same time as my obsession with food. I grew up in restaurants, but theater and performance art weren’t a part of my childhood. I find that sexiness and food are definitely connected — in the sense of indulgence, pleasure, showiness, happiness, fulfillment. And I’ve found that the eating tastes of people I know match their personalities — so I thought, why not match the sexiest women I know up to the food they like? And in interviewing these burlesque performers, I’ve found that the food they like is wonderful — spicy chile chocolate cakes, strawberry whoopie pies, decadent creamy ice creams. Check out photos under “Gallery” to see our whole photo shoot for Scooter Pie!
Who is this gorgeous blonde lady in these coquettish strawberry shortcake shots?
That is a friend of mine, Ms. Scooter Pie! She is a fabulous, ubertalented burlesque performer in the NYC (and international!) scene. She is an amazing dancer, gives the sauciest looks, and can do a routine to Johnny Cash like you’ve never seen. She has also taught burlesque classes. You can catch her Wednesdays at The Delancey in NYC at her show “Shaken and Stirred,” or follow her on Twitter @scooterpiexo.
I love this book concept because it marries two heavily geek-concentrated areas. Food is obviously having a moment, and in the last five years or so, burlesque has resurged and developed a cult following also. Austin’s food culture is quickly growing and changing, and while our burlesque scene is teensy, it exists. What are the foodie and burlesque scenes like in Brooklyn?
I have never seen burlesque in Austin but I would love to! I go to Austin almost every year to visit my dear friend Erica and see great music and swim in Barton Springs. Someone just jokingly suggested that my next book be a burlesque and BBQ book, and that would fit in perfectly in Austin. Eating Salt Lick or Franklin BBQ while watching burlesque? Yes please!
Burlesque is so huge in New York. It’s grown from this indie thing to this huge scene where new starlets break out every week, seemingly. I think the scene has gotten more mainstream in some ways, but it’s still subversive, creative and wacky. One of my favorite pieces I’ve ever seen involved one performer as the Titanic ship and the other performer as THE ICEBERG. They did a slow death dance around one another.
I just attended the New York Burlesque Festival and was wowed by how diverse New York’s scene is. I also recently attended the first ever New York Boylesque Festival! I’m so proud of those guys.
Food is so huge here — both cooking in the locavore style and dining out. I’m a regular at bakeries and ice cream shops like Champs, Babycakes, Brooklyn Farmacy, Lula’s Sweet Apothecary, and Williamsburg’s old-fashioned Italian sweets parlor Fortunato Brothers, where I get my friends’ birthday cakes. But besides a few cheeky burlesque routines involving food, I haven’t seen them intermingled as they ought to be! These gals love to cook and know how to. It’s somehow down-home sweet and sinfully intimate at the same time to see their relaxed baking sides.
Are you a burlesque fan / practitioner yourself? Which burlesque dancers are you reaching out to?
I’m a huge fan but not a practitioner. I prefer to be behind the scenes with performances. I have been an event planner, a talent scout and a critic, writing about art, circus, burlesque, music. I can’t announce all the burlesque performers quite yet, but I can tell you one person we’re working with — the stunning Calamity Chang!
Calamity and Dakota.
The amazing, talented photographer I’m working with is Lauren Silberman. Her perspective of pure joy and her ability to capture a particular enthralling moment will be well-reflected in this project.
This cookbook is dessert-only, yes? What sweet treats can we look forward to?
So much! Polka dot cakes in gorgeous candy colors! Triple-decker strawberry whoopie pie in a heart shape to die for! Candied ginger molasses buns! Blood orange ricotta profiteroles! Maple waffles with blueberry cornbread ice cream! Cranberry-rhubarb crumb cake! Sesame-miso brown butter cake! Root beer doughnuts! And definitely a version of my favorite from childhood — pineapple upside-down cake. I grew up in the Midwest gobbling that down at school fundraiser cake walks. None of this can happen though unless I get some folks on my Indiegogo to contribute! Self-publishing is really expensive …
CONGRATULATIONS, Dakota! I can’t wait for this book to become a reality. What other writing projects do you have in the works, my talented friend?
I’ve taken a break from freelance writing to focus on the cookbook, as I’m in grad school as well and have so little time these days. But I sure wouldn’t mind someday doing the male version of this cookbook, for my guy friends!
Most of the time pinups are fantasy, but let’s make this cookbook a reality, what say? Speaking of fantasies — I kind of (re: really) want that heart-shaped strawberry thing.
IMAGES // Via Erica Beckman