My Music at Work
There are certain things you need prepped and ready to go to start off your day in the kitchen. You’ll need kitchen towels set aside (in a safe place so no one jacks them), a thorough and accurate prep list, sharp knives and above all else, a proper playlist.
Music plays a pretty special part in working in the kitchen, please note how I did NOT, in fact, say important, but special. There are going to be days where music is absolutely necessary. Might be a little tired from the night before and gotta get the energy going, or maybe the day’s tasks at hand seem a little overwhelming and throwing on some tunes is going to get everyone in the mindset to kick some ass.
On the other side of the coin, some day’s it’s crucial to put all your focus into your work and not on who’s got the next song. A fine balance has to be met between having fun and making sure you can be ready for service. We are an industry judged on our performance, and if you get more focused on the music instead of what has to be done you might find yourself in the weeds quicker than you think.
In saying all of that, I’m a big “music in the kitchen” guy. I love spending time outside of work putting together Spotify playlists, finding new albums and playing DJ during mise en place. It’s key to know the vibe of the crew when going into the day, and the person who has the power of the speaker is in charge of making sure everyone’s got the right energy and the mood of the kitchen is on point.
My mixes are all over the place. At one moment you might be hearing the sultry sounds of Michael Buble and the next song that comes on could be Chic ‘N’ Stu by System of a Down. If we’re playing a shuffle of what I have saved in my library, there’s no telling what’s going to come out of those speakers.
But it’s also fun to throw on random albums of your favourite artists and see if there are any hidden gems you might not have known about. Many who have worked with me can tell you, there are certain bands I cannot stand because you can hear their music anywhere and everywhere. Show me some deep cuts, let’s play some albums where I’m not going to hear the same songs you can hear on Chez 106 multiple times throughout the day.
If I have to hear Californication or Can’t stop one more time I’m going to lose it. Queen surely has more songs than Bohemium Rhapsody and We are the champions, right? Every AC/DC song is basically the same so you’ve heard one, you heard them all. If these are the bands that are going to be played, play some whole albums, let’s find some new and undiscovered songs to jam out to! That’s all I’m saying.
I’m no music guru by any means, but I’ve been known to play some bangers. It’s all about the mood at the time and what music is going to expand that vibe. Guaranteed if you pick classic Disney songs on a day where everyone’s got the most energy you’re going to be in for a fun night. If everyone’s looking to clean as fast as they can and get the fuck out, that’s when you throw on the hard shit. The kind of music that’s gonna get you scrubbin’ like a fiend.
When you notice what you’re playing isn’t meshing with the crew though, and you can either keep playing your playlist or start playing songs everyone will agree on, that’s a tough but necessary call to make. Sometimes the music you want to jam out to might not fit with what everyone else is feeling, it’s your call to either stick with it or switch things up. You might find that others are about to be a bit quicker to grab ahold of the speaker to play music for the next couple of days if you choose to stick with the music you’re only vibing to.
My top 9 albums to cook to are below:
Cooking is such a fun profession and music only adds to it. It boosts your energy, get’s the crew moving and above all else, makes what we do that much more fun.