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#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.

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#foodbeast Features FOODBEAST

Sound Bites: Chef Aron Habiger

To us, music is food for the soul. Whenever we’re home making dinner — because fast food more than three times a week is frowned upon by our doctors — our phone is bellowing out melodies from decades we’ve nearly forgotten. Music, like food, fills us with joy and fuels us when we’re hungry for inspiration.

This leaves us curious, fascinated, and eager to learn what sort of music successful chefs listen to while they’re in the kitchen. Now some chefs may not listen to any at all, their kitchens being an ocean that demands respect and focus.

Other chefs, however, live for the music.

This new series will highlight a chef and the music that’s in their heart when working in the kitchen.

We spoke to Aron Habiger, formerly of Petit Trois, The North Left, and current head chef at Vacation Bar, and also curator at Cooking on the Lam, and asked him to share his Spotify playlist with us.

We’ve had the pleasure of seeing Habiger cook in person, and every time we’re in a kitchen with him, he’s always asking for music recommendations. Well chef, it’s time for some recommendations of your own.

Here’s what’s on Aron’s playlist:

Habiger chose to begin service with Joy Division’s “Warsaw” to get him fired up, with the following songs to keep him pumped through prep and service. To finish the night he begins to wind down with some Mos Def and ends with Sade’s “Smooth Operator” as his mellow closer.

The Southern-California based chef added that he was excited to be the first in this Foodbeast series, as music was a huge driving force for his cooking.

My eyes lit up when you asked me this, I was so excited. I wanna hear what other people listen to, because that’s the first question I ask any cook that comes in the kitchen or anyone that I ever work with. I don’t care about what you eat, or all that other stuff. Music is the thing that drives you to want to do other stuff.

So sit back, Foodbeasts, and enjoy Chef Aron Habiger’s handpicked tunes.