Whether I am cooking at home, in a Michelin-Starred restaurant or in the Leathams development kitchen, one thing that is guaranteed (other than quality food being produced naturally!) is that there will be music playing throughout.
In my kitchen, no music is the same during the week or throughout the day. In the morning when prepping, some chilled out Balearic sounds are perfect for the calm before the storm feeling. When service starts the BPM gets turned up, to ensure staff are feeling the adrenaline that only a band such as Nirvana will evoke. And on a Saturday night, garage music sets the tone for the busiest service of the week. Or course, the music played in the kitchen is typically the source of much friction amongst the sous chefs, with head chef generally ruling the play list.
Music is an inspiration for many things, food and cooking being no exception. I heard about a great project recently, in the States, called “Playing with Food”, which demonstrated this perfectly. The Hartford Symphony Orchestra based in Connecticut contacted several local restaurants and provided each chef with a piece of music to inspire a new dish and also a piece music to match a standing menu item at each restaurant. Diners that ordered from the musically inspired menu then got the opportunity to see the Orchestra perform the music that inspired the menu and a talk about the dishes.
The famous Dave Brubeck jazz song “Take Five” was the inspiration for Stonington Sea’s scallops with duck prosciutto wrapped asparagus, English pea-mint coulis and pickled radishes. The dish, like the music, is hip, unexpected and cool! Although jazz isn’t particularly my cup of tea, I love the idea of paired compositions that inspire chefs in the kitchen and food that inspires musicians in the orchestra coming together, perhaps showing the parallels between composers and chefs.