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Music & Food - Cooking music? Songs about food?

For me, the holy trinity is cooking, a glass of wine & some good music. I typically listen to blues/rock when cooking. Susan Tedeschi, Jackie Greene, Springsteen, Coltrane, Robert Cray Band. Sometimes some Aretha Franklin, Prince, Earth, Wind & Fire, etc. And occasionally some old school rap like Eric B & Rakim, Dr. Dre & Snoop, Sugarhill Gang, etc.

What music inspires you in the kitchen?

Also, know any songs about food? Here's a link to a wacky list of 500 food songs. Interesting how many are by Jimmy Buffett (margaritaville, cheeseburger in paradise, I Wil Play For Gumbo, I Wish Lunch Would Last Forever, etc. - ugh) & funny enough Adam Sandler (The Thanksgiving Song, Lunch Lady Land & Food Innuendo Guy).

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  1. i generally listen to something i can sing along to, so usually billy joel, bob seger, the muppet movie soundtrack, etc.

    i received billy bragg's new one, mr love & justice, for my b-day, and it's been in heavy rotation (both the full band & solo versions) for the past month.

      1. re: Lucia

        Your 2nd & 3rd link appear to be the same.

      2. I like to put on the "Big Night" soundtrack when cooking Italian - a lil Louis Prima makes the gravy taste better! Jack Johnson (food song - Banana Pancakes) is my go to multi-purpose & grilling music. I do like to sing along when I'm cooking, so I'll admit to putting cheezy sing-a-longs, Motown & 80s music on when I cook, too.

        My favorite music & cooking memory is singing Neil Diamond's "Sweet Caroline" with my nephews while making cookies. Taught them to dance around the island, pump their fists and shout "ba, ba, ba" after the chorus & " so good, so good" when the cookies come out of the oven. Now, they want to sing/dance/cook with me everytime they see me, soon they'll be too old & cool for such things! Cheers!

        1 Reply
        1. re: oldbaycupcake

          Ha! You totally painted a pic of for me of the Neil Diamond/cookie baking extravaganza - ha! I try and wind my kids up like that in the kitchen too. Half the time they give me "the look" the other half they join in. ;-)

        2. Being a drummer and having my set in my great room that flows into my gourmet kitchen, I cook and drum with the stereo surround sound cranked with songs from Al Green, John Legend, Steely Dan, Rolling Stones, Stevie Wonder..and of course some Nirvana thrown in for good measure.
          Always have a glass or two of wine while I'm doing it and nothing burned so far but close..
          This is how I cook everyday and this is what inspires me in the kitchen and in my life.

          5 Replies
          1. re: Beach Chick

            Made a chicken picatta with rice and salad and while it was cooking in the one pan skillet...the song list tonight was Train, Drops over Jupiter (so overplayed for years that I refused to play it until recently)..
            Coldplay..Viva la Vida and The New Radicals..You only get what you give (my fav)..and Death Cab for Cutie..I will possess your heart.

            1. re: Beach Chick

              I cook the same way and love that it inspires you in the kitchen and in life too.
              I have a huge gourmet kitchen as well that spills into the great room and I had to sound proof the maids quarters because she was tired of hearing my music so loud.

              1. re: PrestonRSF

                Wow Preston..thank you!
                Love the way you roll.

                1. re: Beach Chick

                  You are quite welcome Beach Chick!
                  Love your humor and your take on life.
                  Your posts are extremely comical and I enjoy them immensely.

                  1. re: PrestonRSF

                    That is so sweet Preston..
                    Love cooking with music..I usually drum while I am preparing dinner..running in between sets to check on things..before they burn or on the brink.
                    I'm glad you 'get' me!

            2. I listen to all types of music. But strangely enough, when I cook, I like to blast rap or dance music. It gets me motivated. The slow soft music does nothing for me.

              1. Salsa when cooking, and Brazilian while dining.
                Salsa: Reuben Blades
                La India
                Spanish Harlem Orchestra
                Jimmy Bosch
                Eddie Palmieri
                Brazilian:Antonio Carlos Jobim
                Gal Costa
                Caetano Veloso
                Bebel Gilberto
                Maria Rita
                Salsa just makes you want to dance and you find that before you know it all the prep is done and your cooking! In more ways than one.
                Cool Brazilian music , I am convinced aid the digestion.

                4 Replies
                1. re: currymouth

                  I Love La India!

                  You might also want to check out a CD called PuroParty by Dr Loco & his Rockin' Jalapeno Band.

                  1. re: currymouth

                    Lain music, so sensual, so good to dance and cook. I do a Latin radio show Sat mornings at WERU and either listen to new Latin music to prepare or a cd of my most recent show to critique it. Subbing on a show of blues, Zydeco, Tex Mex and Latin Tues. evenings so while cooking I prep for the show with these genres. I did a food themed show a couple months ago.
                    Food, wine, music; the other holy trinity!

                    1. re: Passadumkeg

                      Then if you arent already aware of it, you would REALLY enjoy the Dr Loco CD I referenced above! They combine all those sounds.


                      I bought this CD around 12 years ago and have been high on them ever since, and there is even a food song (Years Off My Life).

                      By any chance is your food/music show archived?

                      1. re: Fydeaux

                        Dr Loco's "Puro Party"? No but is streamed at www.weru.org. I'll be on tomorrow night from 8-10 pm EDST. Maybe it's timefor another music show. Gotta o kayak!

                  2. i also like to listen to rap when I cook. Or some riot grrl or dance punk stuff. My knife skills improve when I blast Le Tigre.

                    In terms of songs about food, perhaps the epitomic album is Viva! La Woman by Cibo Matto (food crazy? crazy food?). Highlight songs include Know Your Chicken, Sugar Water, Birthday Cake, White Pepper Ice Cream, Pain Perdu...

                    1. For cooking, I need loud music with a good beat. Sometimes some good old southern rock, sometimes something a little more alternative. I have some zydeco CD's that get me going as well!

                      I just wore out my second under-cabinet radio and I refuse to waste good money on another one of those things, so now I am in the market for a new stereo. I have seen a couple models that hang on the wall, but I heard the CD players don't last.

                      Any suggestions would be appreciated, I am really missing my cooking tunage.

                      1. All time favorite music to cook to....Rodrogi Y Gabriella. They are 2 Mexican guitarists (guy & girl) who just JAM out. Amazing stuff.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: amanda3571

                          yes,i really like them too.

                          for me, just give me some nawlinz r & b;dr john,marcia ball,the meters...

                          1. re: amanda3571

                            Nat Geo plays music from around the world in the middle of the night, and they broadcast a video of Rodrogi Y Gabreilla a couple of nights ago. GREAT!

                            What kind of music I play when I'm cooking depends entirely on what I'm cooking. Especially ethnic foods. I have a motley collection of music and I truly believe a little music from kabuki, for example, makes my sushi taste better, or "Ein, Zwei, Gsuffa" adds authenticity to my wurst. And when all else fails, my desktop is hooked up to a great Yamaha speaker system and can blast music literally from around the world via the internet. Sooooo... If I ever decide to try some home made yak butter tea, Radio Tibet will see me through! '-)

                          2. I listen to a little bit of everything while I'm cooking...Ray Charles, BeauSoleil, Dr. John, Professor Longhair, James Hunter even Merle Haggard, Waylon and Willie. Once I had on some bluegrass and I was a chopping fool! Bluegrass may not be the best choice for cooking music unless you are under some sort of time constraint.

                            As for food-related songs, Guy Clark's "Homegrown Tomatoes" is one of my favorites!

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: Boudleaux

                              "Bluegrass may not be the best choice for cooking music unless you are under some sort of time constraint."

                              Ha! Good point, Boudleaux. Waylon & Willie are good choices. I may have to blow some dust off a few album covers...

                              1. re: Boudleaux

                                Based on what you listed, I think you would probably enjoy the new Willie Nelson/Wynton Marsalis CD: Willie with Wynton & his band, recorded live. Fun stuff!

                                1. re: Boudleaux

                                  you can never go wrong with fess! (just check my avatar)

                                  yes,guy clark is always good.

                                2. My favorite song about food (sort of) is Guava Jelly. I think Bob Marley wrote it, but my favorite version is the Peter Moon Band from Cane Fire! :)

                                  1. Whenever I'm in the kitchen with fish, I think of that scene in The Little Mermaid:


                                    1. Wow, am I completely the odd man out here with down tempo stuff? My recent cooking mixes include Sade, Occote Soul Sounds, Miles' "In A Silent Way", Maxwell, Yael Naïm ... actually, Sade would be my perfect choice for cooking if I had to pick just one artist. D'Angelo could come in a close second.

                                      My father is all about the up-tempo r&b, but I guess I took more after my grandmother and the sad songs and love songs she'd put on.

                                      4 Replies
                                      1. re: tmso

                                        No, you're not by yourself! Like you, I also have Sade and Maxwell in rotation, with Sweetback and Amel Larrieux thrown in for good measure. Overall, I like to listen to jazz, blues, and a bit of zydeco while cooking.

                                        1. re: tmso

                                          I love Sade. I would probably listen to it when the family isn't around. So that I could mellow out. Maybe that's why I stick w/ the up-tempo stuff... to blurr the background noise. :-)

                                          Badu would be nice too. Anita Baker. Jill Scott has some food songs too, complete w/ sexual innuendo.

                                          D'Angelo? Serve me up some of that for dessert!

                                          1. re: lynnlato

                                            Who could ever cook without music? I love the thread. Of course it would depend on your mood and maybe what you're cooking like our international Caroline1 (love your posts). BeachChick I'd love to eat at your house...kickin' it! Try listening to KODO, better if you can see them...uh huh. Those Sade folks must be making candy! I like the suggestions for NOLA anything and almost all the Latin stuff. And who said Marcia Ball? Let's see, Willie & Lobo along with a little Cesaria Evora could spice it up just enough..throw a few Ray Charles tears in for salt and let Latin Cal Tjader cook it down. I always like the hammond B3 too. Music to eat by: Houston Person; Charlie Parker, Ron Carter, Jobim.
                                            When we were kids in a small NM town, all the womenfolk got together and made tamales for Easter..the old ones drank the most and gave the orders, the kids kneaded the masa. All to the beat of Norteno. Oh, my aching head!

                                            1. re: P Macias

                                              Just made Hatch red chile enchiladas last night listening to The Texas Tornadoes and traditional Mexican folk. Do you know of the CD Rolas de Aztlan , a history of the Chicano movement on Smithsonian? It even has a corrida about Tierra Amirilla and the La Raza shoot out with the Feds.
                                              We dance all over the kitchen to Reggaeton!

                                        2. How about Louie Jordan's Saturday Night Fish Fry and Beans and Cornbread?
                                          How about Gimme a Pigfoot and a Bottle of Beer?
                                          I know you guys weren't around then...it was pretty hot in the kitchen.

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: P Macias

                                            Dont forget "Everybody Eats When They Come To My House".

                                            1. re: Fydeaux

                                              Good one. AND...Drinkin' Wine Spodee oh dee or however they spell it.
                                              I like your stuff Fydeaux.

                                            1. What about Harry Belafonte: DAY-O. absolutely my favorite food song of all time. and who didn't love that scene from Beetlejuice, just mentioning that scene or playing the song is enough to send my brother and I into hysterics.