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Music in the Kitchen

Jun 1, 2018

People around the world will be celebrating Make Music Day on June 21, and music has an important place in the world of foodservice. It’s about more than what diners hear—for me and other chefs, the sounds in a kitchen are part of our creative process.
The artistry of music is one of the reasons I like it. In Europe, chefs may be called maestros, like conductors. Chefs are artists, and we appreciate the abilities of others in their particular craft. That’s why music and food go well together.

Christmas music is a constant on my playlists, no matter what time of year it is. I intermingle it with popular music from different genres, changing it up based on what I’m doing and who else is with me.

Multiple personalities in the kitchen may also affect what I play, depending on what other people’s preferences are. The tempo and volume vary throughout the day. I usually don’t want it to be loud, because that can get distracting, but I might crank it up a notch to keep everyone moving.

Most of the time, working in the kitchen requires something upbeat. I like to kick it up a little bit with modern country, including Alan Jackson, Garth Brooks, Chris Young, Blake Shelton and Amos Lee. They’re my go-to choices for prep and cleanup, but I turn off the tunes during service time. That way, the back-of-house staff can communicate about the orders coming in without any background noise.

At other times, I rely on the calming kind of music. When I’m in a creative mood, I listen to subtle songs—from Andrea Bocelli, Luciano Pavarotti, Henry Mancini, Michael Bublé and more—so I can think while still hearing the rhythm and getting inspired.

Which musicians motivate you during your workday? Send me your recommendations through Facebook and LinkedIn.

Talk to you soon!