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Musical chefs love to cook the most (and Poh’s Spotify playlist for making you mambo while you make sambo)

By on October 19, 2021 0

Music and cooking… They go together like Fred and Ginger, wink and smile, gin and tonic. Unsurprisingly, with some of us having more time to devote to the latter, we have become a bit obsessed with the former.

According to the data team of the music streaming service Spotify, Australians created 63,000 food playlists in September. And those who couldn’t bother to compile their favorite songs to whip up listened to someone else’s food mix, with daily tracks increasing 42% over the same length of time.

Just search for “cooking playlist” on Spotify and you will receive tons of offers. Padma Lakshmi has one, as does Ina Garten, whose Women Who Rock cooking playlist is taken from “Man!” I feel like a woman! ‘ At Patti Smith’s “Because the Night”.

Ask any chef and you’ll quickly find that food and music are the perfect mix. Melodies are an integral part of most kitchens, feeding staff members from the first cafe to preparation and end of service.

Scott Lord of New Quarter and his team have a playlist called “Kitchen Swagger” to help them get in the mood before service. Photo: Supplied

“We have a few similar playlists here,” says chef Scott Lord of New Quarter in Melbourne. “We have one called Kitchen Swagger which has a lot of stuff in it, like Leon Bridges and Michael Kiwanuka. It’s just a laid back and relaxed way to get down to business and start prep. Then at five o’clock, we start to listen to some upbeat music to get us in the mood. “

According to Spotify, Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams” is the most popular track on kitchen playlists.

Ask around and Daft Punk appears on many kitchen mixes. It’s a favorite with Chin Chin, although they’re not afraid of big sounds. “Every now and then we put out Rage Against the Machine, which is good if you need a little energy,” says executive chef Benjamin Cooper. “Sometimes they’re the queens of the Stone Age.”

It’s a similar story at Farmer’s Daughters in Melbourne. “When the weekend approaches and the atmosphere gets stronger, maybe it will be the Sex Pistols, Jane’s Addiction, Pearl Jam, Silverchair,” says chef Alejandro Saravia, who kicks off a cooking playlist at the start of every year and continues to add to it. “But home with the kids – they’re three and four and love to dance – it could be the Wiggles or some Latin music.”

Where is the heart

It’s no surprise to hear that what goes on in restaurant and home kitchens varies considerably. Johny Dominguez of Bodriggy Brewing Co listens to classical music, favoring Vivaldi and Debussy, when cooking alone. “Or salsa,” he said. “Because when I cook I dance at the same time, but I have a cooking playlist that’s a mix of genres and singers and everything I love including Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Dreams’. “

Thanks to some viral skateboarding TikTok, Cranberry Juice, “Dreams” also happens to be the most popular track on kitchen playlists, according to Spotify. With her in the top five on two Etta James tracks, ‘At Last’ and ‘A Sunday Kind of Love’, although they were recorded six decades ago.

Liber Osario

Liber Osario loves making old-fashioned psychedelic Peruvian cumbia ceviche. Photo: Kitti Gould

Memories are made of this

Nostalgia reigns supreme in our enjoyment of both food and music. “Our senses play such a role in unlocking memories,” says Liber Osorio, of the Milpa Collective in Sydney, which includes Taqiza, La Palma and more. “When you recreate the sounds, aromas and flavors of a special time or place, there is a magic that takes place that makes you travel to that point in time.

“Whenever I cook ceviche at home, I like to play a vinyl record with old-fashioned Peruvian psychedelic cumbia. When I cook asado, I have to play boleros.”

Poh Ling Yeow, TV cooking star and owner of Adelaide’s Jamface, created a Mambo While U Gumbo playlist for Spotify that’s all about familiarity. “I like that it’s very non-ageist,” she says. “It’s good when your parents come to your house, but little kids respond to it too because the rhythms are really simple and old-fashioned.

“I like music to sound like food, which is all about being together. I’m known for my really loud laughter and I love music that encourages that kind of atmosphere.”

It may also be that certain music triggers a memory that dictates a path of preparation. “If my wife puts on some music, she might go to a European house, so I’ll cook a barbecue,” says Cuong Nguyen of Hello Auntie. “And if I put on hip-hop, I’ll end up making pasta. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s because I grew up with both.”

Air time

No doubt, some chefs who spend long hours at work make the most of their time at home.

“At home, there’s no point in being stressed, especially not while you’re cooking, so it tends to take me a very long time,” explains Dave Verheul from Embla. “Lately I’ve had a drink of something pretty nice and listened to a lot of reggae, like Chaka Demus & Pliers, Ken Boothe, Desmond Dekker and stuff that is just positive and has good vibes. while I cook. “

Dave Verheul from Embla listened to a lot of reggae while cooking at home.

Dave Verheul from Embla listened to a lot of reggae while cooking at home. Photo: Chris Hopkins

At Fancy Hank’s, says executive chef Mike Patrick, they have a must-read playlist. “Andee Frost, who’s a really good DJ from Melbourne, made us a whole pork playlist,” he says. “We’re sending it home with our barbecue packs right now. It’s a lot of fun, and it ranges from southern soul to old American stuff.”

At home, however, he and his wife take a more beaten path. “We’re ’90s hip hop tragedies so we go there a lot and teach our five year old daughter Billie. She loves Snoop Dogg and west coast hip hop. We will often make Tex Mex tacos with it. ., which is pretty funny. “

With more time at home, Executive Chef at St Kilda’s The Prince, Dan Cooper, is doing it from scratch with tunes from another era: “Right now Italian classics are doing the trick. cooking with a glass of wine, making pasta and listening to classic Italian songs, like that of Dean Martin. It takes me to another time where we could travel.

Poh's Spotify playlist.  Good food use only.

Poh created a Mambo While U Gumbo playlist for Spotify, with familiar bangers for cooking. Photo: Supplied

Make me a reading list

We asked everyone who they would like to make a cooking playlist. Here is what they said.

“Matt Heafey, who is the guitarist and singer of Trivium. He’s an absolute legend and a big foodie. When he was in Australia several years ago, he came and spent the morning cooking curry with me. ” – Benjamin cooper

“My friend and business partner Pablo [Galindo Vergas]. He has such good taste in music. We like similar styles which is great, but he’s a little more edgy so he always brings new songs to the playlists we share. “- Liber Osorio

“Keith Richards. He goes from reggae to ska to classic rock. He also plays a little bit of jazz. So I think that would be a very, very diverse playlist.” – Alejandro saravia

“[Canadian] Matty Matheson because he’s really eccentric and he’s in the food business too. “- Cuong Nyugen

“Maybe that’s because I’ve been watching No Reservations a bit lately, but Anthony Bourdain. He’s always open-minded, and because of the way he approaches food and the world in it. general I imagine his taste for music would be very similar. I’m sure it would be a pretty mixed up playlist and something that anyone could listen to. “- Dan Cooper

“Probably Richard Fidler who hosts Conversations on ABC Radio. I don’t know what his playlist would look like, but damn it would be interesting to have for dinner. He wrote this amazing book. [Ghost Empire] on the history of Constantinople. “- Dave verheul

“Picasso. I love his work and his brain. It would be really, really interesting.” – Poh ling yiew


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