Ucross, a prestigious artist residency program in northern Wyoming, announced the forthcoming publication of “The Ucross Cookbook: Cooking for Artists on a Wyoming Ranch.”
The cookbook will feature the most popular recipes of Ucross Chef Cindy Brooks, who has served Ucross artists for over 12 years. Brooks, a California native, owned her own restaurant in Bozeman, Montana, before she brought her culinary prowess to Ucross in 2009.
Brooks’s coauthor of the cookbook was Ucross alumna Cree LeFavour. LeFavour, who lives in New Orleans, is a novelist, memoirist and the author of several cookbooks, including the James Beard Award finalist “Fish.”
“Cindy’s cooking is an art form,” Ucross President and Executive Director Sharon Dynak said. “Our artists have been begging Cindy to share her ‘secret recipes’ for years. And — because we are all about art in all forms — this is going to be much more than a cookbook. It will be a true celebration of Cindy’s creative thinking, a tribute to our resident artists and a look at our extraordinary High Plains setting.”
As Joy Harjo — U.S. Poet Laureate and a Ucross alumna — wrote, “The imagination finds refreshment in lands rich with plants and creatures of all kinds. Ucross is rich in spirit food.”
In addition to exploring the recipes, readers will enjoy a taste of the cultural experience of ten artists sitting around the communal Ucross dinner table at the end of a long day in the studio. Ten acclaimed former Ucross artists-in-residence have written brief essays for the cookbook, including author Sigrid Nunez; visual artist Munson Hunt; choreographer Ann Carlson; playwright and screenwriter Doug Wright; writer and former chef Brendan Basham; multi-disciplinary writer, composer and performer Karma Mayet; operatic baritone Nathan Gunn; novelist and investigative journalist Suki Kim; composer and playwright Michael R. Jackson; and novelist and nonfiction writer Judith Freeman.
“The Ucross Cookbook” is slated for publication in December 2021, but it is dependent on public participation in The Ucross Cookbook campaign on Kickstarter, a crowdfunding platform for creative projects. The fundraiser goal is $40,000, which will cover the costs of photography, printing and design by Radius Books, among other expenses. Contributors will receive thank-you gifts ranging from a signed copy of the cookbook to a dinner for six prepared by Brooks. Following Kickstarter’s all-or-nothing model, if the full amount is not raised by September 14, then Ucross will receive none of the donations.
“We are glad to welcome the public into this creative project,” Dynak said. “We know that this cookbook will be a beautiful bookshelf addition, for both Ucross alumni and those just getting to know the organization.”
More information on “The Ucross Cookbook” and Kickstarter campaign is available at ucross.org.