NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Sunday, November 1, 2015, 4:00 AM
These stars were master chefs behind bars.
Guns N’ Roses guitarist Slash, offbeat leading man Shia LaBeouf and “Orange is the New Black” actress Taryn Manning share their noodle know-how in “Prison Ramen: Recipes and Stories from Behind Bars,” being released on Nov. 3.
The incarceration collection includes first-person essays from each star about his or her own brush with the law — along with the quirky Ramen concoctions that those scrapes inspired.
The dishes include Slash’s “Jaywalking Ramen,” shared exclusively with the Daily News, drawn from his stint in Los Angeles County jail for a delinquent jaywalking ticket. This one combines classic chicken-flavored Ramen with minced pork and, for an extra kick, Sriracha.
LaBeouf, who was arrested last year for drunkenly disrupting a “Cabaret” performance on Broadway, folds his Ramen into a sandwich with hard boiled eggs and mayonnaise, while “Married … with Children” star David Anthony Faustino, who was nabbed for pot possession after being drunk and disorderly in public, whips up a “Wet Ramen Burrito.” He uses chili-flavored Ramen, Cheez-Its, Cheetos and other snacks available in many prison commissaries.
Ex-con Gustavo “Goose” Alvarez, 42, came up with the book concept after a life-threatening incident behind bars while he was serving a six-year stint; a deal he struck for possessing a firearm while on parole instead of facing 50 years to life in prison if he lost the trial.
He and his cellmates diffused tensions during a fiery 2009 race riot at the California Institute for Men in Chino. The peace offering: sharing bowls of Ramen with rival gang members.
Prison Ramen: Recipes and Stories from Behind Bars, by Clifton Collins Jr. and Gustavo “Goose” Alvarez
“It’s comforting when you sit down and have a meal with your family. And for lifers, the guys you sit down next to in prison become your family,” says Alvarez, who’s now living in Playas de Tijuana, Mexico. “Sharing food becomes very important.”
He teamed up with his lifelong friend, actor Clifton Collins Jr., who convinced other stars to share their jailhouse recipes. Samuel L. Jackson wrote the book’s foreword.
“These stories are amazing and powerful because they show you that these celebrities, they’re also human, and they also make mistakes,” Alvarez says.
The diverse dishes reveal the creativity of men and women without access to gourmet ingredients or even utensils, which could be used as weapons. Strawberry jelly and soy sauce get mixed together to make teriyaki sauce. If there’s no microwave to boil water, you draw hot water from the sink. Some convicts hustled contraband fruits and veggies smuggled from the kitchen to contribute to the spread.
“You learn how to improvise,” says Alvarez, who enjoys cooking four packs of Ramen, draining the water, and adding the seasoning packet, mayo, diced jalapenos and cilantro before topping the noodles with crackers — or, better yet, smoked oysters.
“I’m in a kitchen with a whole cupboard of Ramen right now,” he says. You can’t stop eating it.”
“Hard Rock, Hard Time” by Slash
It was the really early days of the band. One minute, Duff, our bassist, was driving the band down Melrose Avenue in broad daylight. And the next minute police were pulling us over and taking us in, and I didn’t even know why. I ended up in a holding cell, handcuffed to some other guy. Then I was packed into a big black-and-white county bus with a bunch of guys and given no explanation for where we were going. We drove around the entire day, late into the night, and continued until the early morning. We were dropping off all these guys at their city courthouses. We finally got back to L.A. County, and it took all day for me to get processed. By the time I got into my cell-a big community cell-it was nighttime again.
I had on fingernail polish and used my teeth to take all that shit off. I had to. You don’t wear nail polish in county jail! I was so miserable, jonesin’ really hard, and with all kinds of fools from the weekend’s arrests. They kept us in these smelly holding cells until they had enough guys to pack the hot, stinky bus again. I started sweating that nasty, kicking, hungover smell. I couldn’t eat, couldn’t drink, and had the shivers. The worst feeling ever! This feeling had nothing to do with jail. It’s about kicking (withdrawal) and you can’t do anything about it. I had no lawyer to call, and I felt like my life could be in danger if I stayed there any longer. L.A. County jail is no joke. Finally, I was called up by a deputy. Someone-Axl-had put up the bail money to get me out. We had just signed a record deal, but had no record yet and not much money. I was finally told that I had been detained for a jaywalking ticket from high school. For walking across Fairfax and Beverly! Man, that was a long time ago and I had totally forgotten about that. Apparently they don’t. To those of you who don’t bother with those minor infractions and choose to ignore tickets, beware. There might be a stinky holding cell waiting for you. Word to the wise: Pay your jaywalking tickets.
Printed with permission from “Prison Ramen: Recipes and Stories Behind Bars” (Workman; November 2015; $ 12.95).
Recipe: Slash’s Jaywalking Ramen
1 pack chicken flavor Ramen
1 cup boiling water
3 scallions, chopped
1/2 cup cooked minced pork
1 tablespoon Sriracha sauce, or to taste
1. Crush the Ramen in the wrapper and empty into a bowl. Add the seasoning.
2. Add the water, stir, cover and let sit for 8 minutes.
3. Mix in the scallions and pork.
4. Add the Sriracha to taste.