The popular TV chef on the surprisingly hip lineup of her shindig at the South by Southwest music festival

By Leah Greenblatt
Updated March 06, 2009 at 05:00 AM EST

How did you land the legendary New York Dolls?
We got really lucky, and they said yes. They must like food. [Laughs]

And the Hold Steady?
I’m a huge, huge fan, way before [2008’s] Stay Positive. They have some of the most clever, insane, random lyrics.

There are also some younger, buzzier acts…
My friend Charlie and my husband, John, they’ll give me blind discs [with no track list] and I’ll just listen. I like them to pick obscure stuff, but I don’t want a band just because they’re hip — I want it to be sincere. So we pick who we like, and we ask who wants to go to the prom with us, and hopefully they say, ”Cool, yeah!”

How can you cook the party’s food and see the music?
Oh, honey, I may have five jobs, but I am my own boss. I just write the recipes and hire a terrific local caterer. I can’t be working the stove — I need to see the bands!