Music To Simmer, Sizzle and Scarf To…

Whether you’re preparing an eight course meal or spiking a watermelon with vodka, you’ll need a playlist to match your culinary prowess (or lack thereof).  That being said, we realize the cooking experience can range from meditative to monotonous, so allow us to present a bouillabaisse of songs you shouldn’t enter any kitchen without.

1. What ever you make, be sure it’s got flavor. Buena Vista Social Club will help you get there with “Tiene Sabor” –caitiebee

2.  “We sell so much of this people wonder what we put in it.” King Curtis explains on Memphis Soul Stew –rye

3. The most important ingredient any chef needs in the kitchen…vino. My favorite wine song – “Spill the Wine” –caitiebee

4. The album Food by Kelis might just be the best cooking soundtrack around, she’s got everything from fish fry to “Jerk Ribs” with a healthy dash of soul — caitiebee

5.  Interpret the lyrics to this Dee Dee Sharp song however you wish, but I think I we can all agree that sometimes you really just need some gravy for your mashed potatoes… –rye

6.  …And sometimes a spoonful is all it takes. Let Howlin’ Wolf  attest to this (and not Cream).  –rye

7. Patience can be a struggle, sometimes you just have to dance the “Hunger” pains away with Rhye –caitiebee

8.  When you start to crash and need an energy boost, throw on Claudio Villa’s intoxicating “Mexico.” –rye

9. Some people spring for French tunes in the kitchen, but happiness is Italian cooking. How about some Mina, here’s “Da Chi” –caitiebee

10.  Jona Lewie’s “You’ll Always Find Me In The Kitchen At Parties” is delightful in how it describes a man who retreats to the kitchen to avoid pleasantries at social gatherings. But some of us just like to be where the the real action is– in the kitchen. –rye

11. Serial genre bender Quantic collaborates with soul & jazz legend Spanky Wilson on a song that speaks no greater truth: “Don’t Joke With A Hungry Man” –rye

12.  And at when it’s all said and done, don’t forget to run down the street after the “Ice Cream Man,” it might just be Tom Waits — caitiebee


I’m extremely shallow as far as record shopping is concerned. I’m routinely seduced buy intriguing album covers and will throw it in the bag a la Fabolous without giving a listen.  So when I came across the cover of an Ilaiyaraaja compilation that included the tagline “Euphoric Electronics + Robotic Funk” in 80s calculator font (not to mention a man rocking old-school Adidas shoes), I pulled the trigger.

Turns out the maestro behind these wondrous compositions is South Indian composer Ilaiyaraaja, also known as the The Crown Prince Of Tamil Pop. His prolific and diverse career includes many flirtations with western music ideas, and on the “Ilectro” collection, he fuses 80s funk, electro and synth pop with Kollywood sensibilities.

As usual, the label behind this release (Finders Keepers) never fails to impress with their knack for unearthing rare and addictive gems from around the globe. I fantasize about the day the label offers a sweepstakes similar to the early 90s Nickelodeon Super Toy Run, where contestants had the chance to win a 5-minute dash through a Toys ‘R’ Us and throw as many items as possible in a shopping cart for theirs to keep. I’ll continue to dream about this day while I play the living hell out of this record. Here’s “Don’t Compare