Austin Chefs Play DJ

Austin chefs share more kitchen grooves from Beastie Boys to 80s hair metal

Austin chefs share more kitchen grooves from Beastie Boys to 80s metal

News_Boy Bands_The Beatles
Don't ever expect to hear the Beatles while eating at Banger's. Courtesy photo
News_Douglas Newman_Johnny Cash_guitar case
The man in black himself plays in kitchens all over town. Courtesy photo
Kanye West and Jay Z together in Watch the Throne tour 2011
Jay Z and Kanye West get Paul Qui revved up. GooglePlus
News_Boy Bands_The Beatles
News_Douglas Newman_Johnny Cash_guitar case
Kanye West and Jay Z together in Watch the Throne tour 2011

Editor's note: For our "Austin Chefs Play DJ" series, CultureMap reached out to chefs around town to find out what they listen to while they toil away in the kitchen. In this second installment, you will find out who plays Fugazi while slinging pizza, who detests The Beatles and which chef is cooking to 80s hair metal.

At the bottom, CultureMap has created a playlist below so you can rock out in your own kitchen.

PHIL KORSHAK, Home Slice Pizza

CM: What genre of music do you listen to while you're cooking?
PK: Big bands like Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Louis Prima, Gene Krupa, Bob Wills and Smoky Joe Wood.

CM: Is this type of music different from the type of music you listen to when you're not cooking?
PK: I listen to big bands when I'm cooking because of the magic of orchestration. I love how all those cats are working together to make this cohesive thing that is bigger than each of them, and how that cohesive thing would be less if each player didn’t approach their instrument and their sound with unfailing pride and passion.

This is, of course, a direct corollary to how ingredients work in context of a dish. In the same way as a cook, the moment you become a pretentious egoist, directing with the intent being on you, the music and food falls flat. But, if you simply work to allow each part to find its footing, to arc toward brilliance, then the music and food sings in a way that cracks open the present in a way that experience of now is unavoidable.

CM: Who are your top five favorite artists or bands?
PK: Nina Simone, Louis Armstrong, Fugazi, Nick Drake and Ella Fitzgerald.

CM: What is your most go-to song while you're cooking?
PK: It’s not a song, but rather an album: The Gifted Ones. These four veteran players all happened to be in the same place at the same time, recording in separate studios and living the life of a player in Vegas in 1977. They went in and laid it down in two days, live with no overdubs, taking chances with every turn of every bar of every song. More than anything, it is clear that they were having a great time. That’s what it’s all about.

PAUL QUI, Qui

CM: What genre of music do you listen to while you're cooking?
PQ: A little bit of everything. It all depends on my mood at the time.

CM: Who are your top five favorite artists or bands?
PQ: Jay Z, Kanye West, the National, Beastie Boys and Arcade Fire.

CM: What is your go-to song while you are cooking?
PQ: I have to confess that I prefer cooking in a quiet kitchen. Nas' Illmatic does get me in the right focus, though.

CM: What type of music do you play for your diners?
PQ: We've been a bit crazy at the restaurant, so we just go for whatever lately. We start the night with something mellow and gradually proceed to something louder by the end of the night.

TED PRATER, Banger’s

CM: What kind of music do you listen to while you're cooking?
TP: Old-school country music like Johnny Cash and Hank Williams Jr., rockabilly like Shack Shakers and bluegrass. We listen to music in the prep room, not in the line room; it’s just too crazy in the line room.

CM: Who are your five favorite artists or bands?
TP: The Legendary Shack Shakers, Hank Williams III, Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson.

CM: What type of music, artists or songs do you play for your diners?
TP: We play country music in the dining room, but not as aggressive as the rockabilly that I listen to. The music in the dining room is more sheltered.

CM: What type of music are you not able to stomach?
TP: Rap music. The older stuff I can handle, but not new rap. As for a band that I hate, like that if someone put on, I would grab the CD and throw it across the room? The Beatles. I used to work at a British gastropub that had a Beatles cover band and just can’t stand them anymore.

BRADLEY NICHOLSON, Barley Swine

CM: What genre of music do you listen to while you're cooking?
BN: 90s pop, old country, UGK and 80s hair metal. 



CM: What is your most go-to song while you're cooking?
BN: The Ride by David Allan Coe. It makes me want to kick some ass, plus it's how I like to think about my cooking career.

CM: What type of music, artists or songs do you play for your diners?

BN: We keep it pretty simple at Barley Swine with Pixies radio on Spotify most of the time.