Godcaster’s Road Recipes

Von Kolk — the band’s multi-instrumentalist and resident chef — shares a few tips to help you eat better on the road.

Von Kolk is a visual artist and a multi-instrumentalist in the experimental rock band Godcaster. Earlier this year, for the Talkhouse Reader’s Food Issue — out now digitally and in print — Von kindly shared a couple of her famous “road recipes” to make in the van and the green room. Godcaster’s self-titled record is out now on Ramp Local. 
— Annie Fell, Editor-in-chief, Talkhouse Music

Making mobile meals brings me so much joy. I get a little giddy whenever I make a road meal that tastes like it was made in a real kitchen, when it was actually just prepared in a dingy basement green room or on the highway in a moving vehicle.

On tour, I try to make something different every night — usually what I make is determined by what produce is freshest and cheapest at whatever supermarket we went to that day, and whether or not the green room has an appropriate rice cooker environment. (We’ve gotten some exasperated looks from venue staff a couple times, which I totally get — sometimes there’s no space for an appliance at the venue.) Having a diet full of varied nutrients is essential for keeping us healthy while traveling.

Below are a couple of literal recipes, for both on the road and in the green room. And I have suggestions on what to keep in a Band Van Pantry — on Godcaster tours, in between the driver and passenger seat I keep two milk crates (with a plywood board over the top one, which doubles as a little table) full of cooking essentials that make eating well on the road possible.

On the Road Recipe: Arugula & Goat Cheese Salad

Prep Time: 15-25 minutes of careful chopping on a cutting board, set on a bamboo tray while the vehicle is en route to sound check.

What You’ll Need

One Big Yellow Enamel or Metal Bowl (so it won’t break if you drop it!)
One empty seat next to you for your Big Yellow Bowl to rest while you chop ingredients
One sharp knife (Very important! A dull knife in a moving vehicle makes a risky activity even more dangerous.)
One small dish towel and two rubber bands (to wrap around your knife for storage)
Tongs for tossing and serving
Paper bowls/plates
Plastic forks
Spray bottle of vinegar (to “wash” your knife and cutting board)

You really can just add whatever veggies you want to this salad, but below is a relatively well-rounded grouping.

Baby arugula 
Baby spinach or mesclun salad 
Cucumbers (half moons) 
Avocados (cubed)
Goat cheese 
Grape or cherry tomatoes 

Optional if your budget allows for a little more:
Rotisserie chicken (hand shred it — adding rotisserie chicken makes it more of a green room endeavor because of the mess)
Walnuts, cashews, or almonds (crushed)
Cilantro (chopped)
Red onion (slivers)

Balsamic vinegar
Olive oil
Black pepper


Throw your arugula, baby spinach, red onion, chicken, and cucumber into your Big Bowl. Drizzle olive oil, salt, black pepper, and paprika and toss. Throw in cherry tomatoes, walnuts, honey, cilantro, and goat cheese and toss. Top with the avocado. Serve on paper plates in the van. 

On-The-Road Recipe Honorable Mentions: Onigiri (rice balls); Walmart discount cheese and produce charcuterie board

Green Room Recipe: Tofu Poke Bowl

Prep Time: 25 min
Cook Time: 20 min

What You’ll Need

Paper bowls
Rice cooker
Green room that is rice cooker friendly
Cutting board
One sharp knife
One small dish towel and two rubber bands (to wrap around your knife for storage)
One metal fork or tongs
One metal spoon or spatula
Paper bowls/plates
Plastic forks
Spray bottle of vinegar (to “wash” your knife and cutting board)


3 cups of short grain jasmine rice
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons sugar
Rice vinegar
Sesame oil
Extra firm tofu (cubed)
Garlic (minced)
Red onion (slivers)
Carrots (shredded)
Avocado (sliced)
Scallions (sliced)

Optional if funds and region allow:
Shiitake mushrooms
Sesame seeds


Bring your pantry crate and rice cooker to the green room during load in. Before soundcheck, load the rice cooker with 3 cups of rice and leave tofu to drain on the cutting board. 


Return to the Green Room — rice is cooked, tofu is somewhat drained (there’s not enough time to fully drain the tofu so it is always a bit watery). Mix 1/2 cup rice vinegar, 3 tablespoons sugar, and 1 teaspoon salt into the hot rice. Take the rice pot off the cooker base to cool down. Cut the vegetables. Quick pickle the carrots and red onion by putting them in a bowl and tossing it in rice vinegar, salt, and sugar. Combine tofu, garlic, and shiitake in a bowl and toss in sesame oil, soy sauce, and sugar. Assemble your bowl with rice on the bottom, tofu, onion, shiitake, carrots, and avocado on top. Garnish with scallions and sesame seeds.


On the Road Cooking Tips

Use everything!

A big thing about cooking on the road is speed and simplicity! Try to actually cook with heat as little as possible. I usually only cook my grains in the rice cooker. I like to throw my grain in the rice cooker before soundcheck and have it ready by the time I’m done. I wing recipes a lot — if I have a vegetable leftover from the day before and it’s not in my recipe, I’ll likely figure out a way to just throw it in because we need the nutrients. Can’t really have too many vegetables or fruits on tour, and meat is expensive, so I use every last bit! If there’s leftovers of the dish, they get consumed later in the night post-performance. 

Clean cooler and replenish ice daily in the summer.

Keep a spray bottle of vinegar to “wash” your dishes — and give them a real wash every now and again when you have access to dish soap and a big enough sink.

Buy pre-washed greens 

Minimize the actual cooking needed 

Cook grains overnight or in the morning before heading on the road — this way, you can have a more definitive lunch on the road


Band Van Pantry Essentials

Van Pantry Crate 1

  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Sesame oil
  • Soy sauce
  • Furikake (optional)
  • Honey
  • Paprika (optional)
  • Bag of utensils
  • Bag of tiny sauce packets like ketchup, mayo, hot sauce
  • Cutting board
  • Knife wrapped in dish towel
  • Spray bottle of vinegar
  • Sponge
  • Dish soap
  • Small metal bowl
  • Metal forks, spoons, knives (two of each)
  • Bread
  • Peanut butter
  • Jam
  • Coffee
  • Tea

Van Pantry Crate 2

  • Rice cooker
  • Ziploc bags of rice pre-measured in 1, 2, and 3 cups
  • Pasta
  • Pasta sauce/pestos
  • Canned goods (chickpeas, coconut milk, chicken broth)
  • Asian noodles/ramen
  • 2 wooden spatulas 
  • Tongs

Godcaster is a Brooklyn-based experimental rock band. Their latest record, Godcaster, is out March 10, 2023 on Ramp Local.