Friday, August 3, 2012

Music in the Kitchen

If you are working in a kitchen where spoons, pindrops and chef rage is all you hear, then this blog probably doesn’t apply to you.  I’m sorry.

Here are my 50 fun random thoughts on music for the restaurant:


  1. If I ever have to listen to La Raza 93.3 on the goddamn kitchen radio ever again.  I will punch someone in the nuts. 
  2. Friday night service in my world is known as Michael Jackson time.  Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough is thus known as the Powersong – yes, like on your iPod Nano Nike+.
  3. When you have no idea what type of music people enjoy in your kitchen, the best defaults that should piss no one off are the following: Golden Oldies, Old School Golden Age HipHop, Classic Rock or 80’s Cheese.  If you have issues with all of those then you’re a douchebag emo asshole.  Really, get over yourself.
  4. The Mexican Dudes I used to cook with (Tomas, Nacho, Cheesco, David) were the best, the funniest and the most illogical barometer for “acceptable” American kitchen music.
  5. Great In Theory But Poor In Reality Kitchen Music Choice: Tribe Called Quest.  Yeah, I fucking said it.
  6. Poor In Theory But Great In Reality Kitchen Music Choice: Pat Benatar.  No, really.
  7. I go to Lers Ros (Larkin) for the really bad 80’s and 90’s soft rock.  It’s like the best karaoke bar in San Francisco with awesome food. 
  8. If you sit in Lers Ros long enough and daydream of a shitty soft rock song hard enough, it will come true.  I tested this theory out 3 times – I’ll Make Love to You by Boyz II Men, Endless Love by Lionel and Diana, and I Swear by All 4 One.  I have witnesses.
  9. You’re not cool for playing really loud metal or house music during brunch hours, you’re an asshole and I hate you.
  10. Good for FOH Breakfast, Brunch, Lunch, Dinner or Dessert: Feist.
  11. If I could pace a kitchen service with a song, I would pick No Diggity by Blackstreet.
  12. If I could pace the FOH service with a song, I would pick Feel Like Makin Love by D’Angelo.
  13. I could prep and cook for hours to Bob Marley. 
  14. Great in Theory and Great in Reality Kitchen Music Choice: Prince.
  15. Poor in Theory and Poor in Reality Kitchen Music Choice: Taylor Swift.
  16. Do. Not. Touch. The. Radio. When. It. Is. Playing. Sinatra.
  17. Try not to listen to music that make people who work with sharp knives go crazy.  That is the simple rule that we all must live with.
  18. I used to whistle in the kitchen while working, then my sous Elgin told me it drove him insane.  2 months later, the sound of whistling started to drive me insane.  Weird but true.   
  19. We used to have these DJ Vinroc neo-soul mixes for Poleng’s FOH – it was the best thing to listen to after a long night of service and the best mix to mingle at the bar scene with.  I am still looking for that mix somewhere… I suck.
  20. It was all fun and games when we let customers pick out the playlist in the café, until they kept playing Ace of Base.  It was like 1992 all over again with no escape from the Swedish and their goddamn Signs.  We have ourselves to blame.  That and the assholes that kept playing Ace of Base.
  21. Consider the following artists banned from any future restaurant of mine for being overplayed: Ace of Base, Empire of the Sun, and Beach House.
  22. The RIAA can suck it.
  23. There are a few songs out there that the minute they come on – the entire place lights up and sings.  The first: Al Green – Let’s Stay Together.
  24. The second: I Wanna Dance With Somebody by Whitney Houston.
  25. The third (a tie): Sir Duke by Stevie and Real Love by Mary J. Blige
  26. Laura, one of my favorite cooks and people in the world, now working at the always amazing Nopa, loves I Wanna Dance With Somebody like no other.  Totally embarrassing, huh? 
  27. My people party on industry nights at Krazy Mondays at the Beauty Bar.  Good hiphop on Monday nights without the typical weekend hipster assholes – downright therapeutic.  There used to be this girl Kyle who spun the most chill neo-soul hiphop at Double Dutch every other Monday – I think I was in love with her just cause she would spin exactly what I wanted to hear on my night off.  Well, I think she might have been a yoga instructor too, so that doesn’t hurt.     313136_10151267554675116_954642480_n[1]
  28. Good all day today and tomorrow and everywhere: Winehouse.   
  29. The artist that everybody hates but me: U2. 
  30. Great In Theory But Poor In Reality in the Kitchen: Radiohead.  Love the band, but sometimes it’s the kind of stuff that you don’t want knives around for.
  31. Favorite Morning Hangover Prep Song: Sweet Nuthin by Velvet Underground.
  32. I break into full song after service while I’m wiping, mopping and cleaning – it is the ultimate secret to breaking down your stations efficiently and quickly. 
  33. There does not exist a world where any of my HipHop kitchen playlists do not include Ms. Fat Booty or Girls Girls Girls. 
  34. Great In Theory But Poor In Reality: The Go Team. 
  35. Poor In Theory (for some) But Great In Reality: The BeeGees.
  36. Country pop music has no place – absolutely no place – in a kitchen.  Sorry.
  37. I once listened to Explosions in the Sky with my cook Tom.  I think we both wished we were 10 years younger and smoking weed.  Definitely not the most productive kitchen tunes.
  38. Simple rule: if you didn’t bring your iPod to work, then you have no say in pretty much what music gets played that day.  Good luck with La Raza or Slayer.
  39. I created Boner Jams Mix #1 for enjoyment in the kitchen.
  40. I then created Boner Jams Mix #2: The Sequel for more enjoyment in the kitchen.
  41. When cooks gotta pump shit out during service, there’s always a few mojo bands that we all have – everyone’s got a few of them. 
  42. My mojo music? Zeppelin, Sinatra and MJ for service, prep and cleanup in that order.
  43. Good In Theory But Poor In Reality: Animal Collective and Dirty Projectors – totally down with those guys, but man, its like a brain scrambler on your focus.
  44. Every time I play “Nothing Compares to You” by Prince, everyone thinks it’s a cover of Sinead O’Connor.  Prince + Rosie Gaines is the original and only version of the song you should ever know or listen to.
  45. Guiltiest pleasure in the kitchen: tie between Usher and Boyz II Men.
  46. I have lived happily without ever hearing a Bieber song in a kitchen, let’s keep it that way. 1281543881_justin-bieber 
  47. Serious rappers during prep time, fun rappers during service time.
  48. Spotify > Pandora – simply because I can skip the shit songs as often and as much as I want.
  49. I have a couple of other dream jobs that I'd never pursue over cooking: one of them is the guy that picks the tunes they play at department stores, malls, grocery stores, elevators, etc..  It would be such an awesome job.
  50. If you don’t like D’Angelo then you are telling me you are vanilla and have no soul.  Don’t be vanilla.  Have a soul.  Listen to D’Angelo.

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