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Food + Cooking

The Music Issue

Published in Gourmet Live 05.02.12
Check out what’s replacing pizza-cigs-and-beer for top musicians on tour, tune in to the culinary travels of Ozomatli, and discover how music can make or break a meal

Food and music are a truly harmonious pair. When you serve a romantic dinner, don’t you select a soundtrack to match? What’s a good vegetable-chopping session without a little Chet Baker to go with it? And the lifestyles of chefs and rock stars reveal some uncanny similarities, when viewed in a certain light: intense, creative work; late nights; after-parties; and lots and lots of tattoos.

Our Music Issue begins with a surprising variation on the hard-partying-musician cliché, however (we food people like to mix things up, too). As reported by entertainment journalist Lisa Tolin, the whole grains, Paleo-inspired meals, and fresh fruit requested by Sharon Van Etten, Bon Iver, Adele, and Iggy Pop, to name just a few, are a far cry from the legendary whiskey-and-M&M riders of yore.

Even further afield from back-of-the-van burritos and burgers are the eats of Ozomatli, the Grammy Award–winning group whose music mashes up hip-hop, jazz, merengue, indie rock, and more. Travel writer Matt Gross chatted with the band members, who are also official cultural ambassadors for the U.S. State Department, and recounts their musical and culinary journey from Los Angeles on around the world, eating arepas, sushi, and organ meat stews in Cuba, Vietnam, Japan, and beyond.

If you’ve ever been transported—in time, space, or otherwise—by a special meal paired with just the right tunes, you’ll want to read Julia Savacool’s report on the science behind the interplay of music and dining. Savacool reveals that the kind of music you’re listening to can not only enhance the pleasure of eating but also make you favor a specific cuisine, or even consume more. Skeptical? Cue up three proven playlists sourced from restaurants.

Once your tunes are cranking, get cooking and try our recipe for Mushroom Carpaccio with Pecorino Toscano, a speedy salad of raw mushrooms sliced into slivers you can make extra easily with—what else?—a mandoline.

What are your favorite music and food pairings? Share your greatest hits via Twitter or Facebook, drop us a line (gourmetlive@condenast.com), or post a comment on our blog. For more tasty bites, sign up for our weekly newsletter to get convenient access to our most-read blog posts, editors’ favorite recipes, and exclusive reader offers.

Tune in next time!

The editors of Gourmet Live

Gourmet Live