Ucross announced today the publication of The Ucross Cookbook: Cooking for Artists on a Wyoming Ranch. The Ucross Cookbook is available at ucross.org, as well as select independent bookstores, galleries, and shops in the Mountain West.
The book features the most popular recipes of longtime Ucross Chef Cindy Brooks, written with Ucross alumna Cree LeFavour, a novelist; memoirist; and author of several cookbooks, including the James Beard Award finalist Fish.
“Cree’s joyful presentation of Cindy’s enticing recipes and entertaining stories from her 12 years of cooking for artists would be satisfying enough,” Ucross President Sharon Dynak said. “But this goes beyond the ordinary cookbook.”
Interspersed among the dishes are creative passages by award-winning Ucross alumni and sweeping seasonal landscape photographs of Ucross’s 20,000-acre ranch by alumna Martirene Alcántara.
“We wanted to give the reader a taste of the Ucross experience, and Cindy’s beautiful food and our majestic landscape are key ingredients,” Dynak explained. “Every evening, after spending the day in the studio, the ten Ucross artists-in-residence gather around the dinner table, passing plates, and sharing stories. So, we asked 10 of our alumni — writers, composers, visual artists, and choreographers — to contribute to our book.”
The resulting pieces range from a poem to a stream-of-consciousness story to a personal essay and more. Contributing Ucross artist-alumni include author Sigrid Nunez, composer and playwright Michael R. Jackson, visual artist Munson Hunt, choreographer Ann Carlson, playwright and screenwriter Doug Wright, writer and former chef Brendan Basham, multi-disciplinary performer and writer Karma Mayet Johnson, operatic baritone Nathan Gunn, novelist and investigative journalist Suki Kim and novelist and nonfiction writer Judith Freeman.
The Ucross Cookbook was funded in part by several donors, as well as a successful campaign on Kickstarter, a crowdfunding platform for creative projects, which raised $44,179 from 261 backers. One hundred percent of the book’s proceeds will benefit Ucross.
“We are grateful to all who helped make this project a reality,” Dynak said. “Our cookbook is a wonderful addition to bookshelves for longtime Ucross friends and those new to our nonprofit.”
ABOUT THE UCROSS COOKBOOK CONTRIBUTORS
Coauthor Cindy Brooks is a California native who owned her own restaurant in Bozeman, Montana, before she brought her culinary prowess to Ucross in 2009.
Coauthor Cree LeFavour is the author of the memoir Lights On, Rats Out, the novel Private Means, and several cookbooks, including the James Beard Award finalist Fish.
Martirene Alcántara is an accomplished visual artist whose work is found in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.
Sigrid Nunez is the author of eight acclaimed novels, most recently What Are You Going Through and the National Book Award-winning The Friend. She is also the author of Sempre Susan: A Memoir of Susan Sontag.
Michael R. Jackson is a composer who won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for his musical A Strange Loop. In 2021, he was awarded the Windham-Campbell Literature Prize in Drama.
Playwright, librettist, and screenwriter Doug Wright received the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award for his play I Am My Own Wife. His other acclaimed works include the play Quills and the book for the musical Grey Gardens.
Judith Freeman is a novelist, critic, and essayist whose most recent novel is MacArthur Park; she is also the author of a memoir, The Latter Days. Judith and her husband, award-winning photographer Anthony Hernandez, were the first couple to be in residence at Ucross together.
Munson Hunt’s sculpture, prints, and drawings have been shown nationally and internationally for over 30 years. The scale of her work, raw material (often reclaimed wood) and simple form are both elemental and mysterious.
Multidisciplinary performer and writer Karma Mayet Johnson has worked with renowned directors Robert Wilson and Bill T. Jones, and musicians Martha Redbone, Burnt Sugar, Toshi Reagon, Lizz Wright, Vernon Reid, Meshell Ndegeocello, and The Roots. She is composer/librettist of Indigo, a Blues opera, and her poems have appeared in Nocturnes, Cave Canem’s Gathering Ground, and elsewhere. Her newest play, Race Card, was called “powerful” by The New York Times.
Suki Kim is an award-winning novelist, an investigative journalist and the only writer ever to have lived undercover in North Korea for immersive journalism, which formed the basis for her New York Times bestselling book Without You, There Is No Us: Undercover Among the Sons of North Korea’s Elite.
Baritone Nathan Gunn has performed many of opera and musical theatre’s greatest roles on the world’s most prestigious stages. He has also been seen and heard on television, radio, video and live simulcast performances, including the first Met in HD broadcast, The Magic Flute, in which he sang Papageno, one of his signature roles.
Brendan Shay Basham (Diné), awarded the inaugural Ucross Native American Writing Fellowship, is a fiction writer, poet, and former chef. His first novel, Swim Home to the Vanished, is forthcoming from Harper.
Ann Carlson is an award-winning interdisciplinary artist, with an emphasis on choreography and performance. Her work borrows from dance, theater, visual, and conceptual art and has been seen around the world.