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The great accompaniment to food

Pass the butter... and the playlist. An interview with the Guardian about what chefs listen to and what music motivates then

Do you always like to listen to music when you’re cooking? Does this change if you are alone or with others in a kitchen?

I try to yes, preparing food or cooking can take hours sometimes so it’s always good to have some entertainment in the background, music can offer a distraction but in a good way, especially if there are others in the kitchen it can focus the team to listen.

Is it generally albums, songs, playlists or radio?

Playing just albums can become repetitive so the addition of online streaming services like Spotify have been great that you can listen to whatever you want whenever you want. You can listen to a different genre each day and never get bored.

What’s your favourite music to prepare food to and why?

I’m big into country music so listen to country radio a lot when cooking, Chris country is a great radio station to listen to especially at home, when cooking with others you have to be mindful though and try to play a genre that suits all.

You have to prepare your desert island dish. What’s playing while you do this?

For me it would have to be a combination of Raphael Saadiq’s album ‘The way I see it’ which is possibly the coolest album ever and anything by Darius Rucker, He used to be the lead singer of Hootie and the blow fish and is now country a singer, his voice is simply mesmerizing.

Any other thought on whether music enhances or distracts from cooking?

It can be a distraction if not used in the right way, music has to be enjoyable for everyone listening and if you don’t get the genre or mood right then it can have a negative impact.

I also believe it can bring people together, I worked in a restaurant years ago where the kitchen was in the basement and we couldn’t get a radio signal and internet streaming wasn’t a thing so could only play CD’s Each morning when prepping the food before service, we were allowed to play music and each chef would bring in their album of choice.

I used to play a lot of Tim McGraw who is basically the king of country, there were two other chefs; Kasper from Denmark who played the best of the Bee Gees and then Lars from Sweden who would play Dr Hook which have to be one of the sexiest bands of all time. It really opened my eyes to different types of music and bought a sense of togetherness within the kitchen and also taught me that Scandinavians have great taste in music.

What’s the best music for people who are eating your food? Your signature sound, if you will?

I don’t really have a signature sound, but the music needs to be something that will create an atmosphere, you need the right type of music for the time of day, breakfast needs to start with something a little soft and gentle and as the day goes on the beat can get a little heavier and faster.


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