#foodbeast Culture Features

Sound Bites: Chef Michael Fiorelli

In the second edition of our series Sound Bites, we welcome the contribution of Chef Michael Fiorelli of Love & Salt in Manhattan Beach, California. This ongoing series is a unique lens into how music has influenced many chefs and kitchens throughout the culinary world, and Chef Fiorelli’s playlist is a great insight into how he grew an appreciation for food and cooking growing up.

This list is nostalgic for me because it features songs my family loves and introduced to me. Listening to this music brings back memories of cooking and eating together, and reinvigorates that sense of tradition and culture.
I remember listening to “Lazy Mary” for the first time. My mother played it during the Christmas holidays. At first I was just enjoying it a pleasant background noise, but then I listened to the lyrics. The picture of what’s going on in the song made my head turn. A woman who’s being urged to get out of bed so they can use the bed sheets to set the table. It’s the epitome of Italian humor — subtle and brilliant — just like Italian food. I kept asking my mother to play it over and over after that, and she couldn’t believe it. I couldn’t get enough of that song!
Music plays a vital role in my whole sense of being. It’s how I start my day, and it sets the tone for what’s to come. I think everyone needs a soundtrack for their life that’s motivating and inspiring. I also think music and cooking are so closely related. Both are a form of someone sharing something close to them. Something from the heart. The more genuine and the more heartfelt the art, the more inspiring the experience is going be.

So go ahead and fire up a boiling pot of pasta and pour your favorite red. Let Chef Fiorelli’s playlist of Italian-American standards set the mood for the perfect night in with Ol’ Blue Eyes.