Everything I listen to while I cook
Playlists, podcasts, and foodie audiobook recommendations.
How’s it going in your kitchen? I’m just back from a beautiful trip to Portland, Maine. We were there to celebrate the marriage of a couple really close friends who’ve moved there recently and it was a gorgeous, meaningful, delicious weekend that was just the right blend of raucous and relaxing.
After a couple weeks packed with quite a bit of travel, Quentin and I are staying put for the next few weekends, so I’m looking forward to spending some focused time in the kitchen. And for me, a person who always has some sort of audio entertainment on in the background, this also means I’m in for some quality time with my favorite playlists, podcasts, and audiobooks. There’s nothing quite like working with your hands while something lovely plays on the speaker in the background, right?
So today, my tip is to take a proverbial page out of my (audio) book and use the time you’re in the kitchen to get a little listening in.
Because if you’re a fan of multitasking, throwing a podcast or a book on while you cook is a great way to squeeze a little learning or entertainment in while you get dinner on the table. But also, if you like to use the time you’re cooking to relax, you can lend to a chill vibe with some of your favorite tunes. What I’m saying is that there’s kitchen listening of all kinds and if you’re not into it already, you’re missing out.
Okay, let’s get right to the good stuff, here are some of my favorite things to throw on while I wait for the pasta water to boil:
And whenever dinner is served, I throw my dinner party playlist on shuffle. A few of you already follow this playlist and I’ve heard some great feedback so far :)
Or, how about a foodie audiobook? Here are my favs:
First, let me tell you about how I access audiobooks: I mainly use the Libby app on my phone for audiobook listening. You connect your library card and gain access to your library’s entire audiobook offering for free! But if I’m not in the mood to endure a long hold time, I also have an Audible subscription that I’ll use on occasion. I’m considering switching over to Libro.FM so my $$ goes to local bookstores rather than Jeff Bezos. I read over 50 books last year thanks to audiobooks. Here are some of my very favorite foodie ones:
Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner got a lot of very deserved attention in the last couple years. It’s about mother daughter relationships, the confusion of coming of age, and grief, all told through the lens of food and specifically Korean food. It’s a beautiful, heartfelt listen to say the absolute least.
Setting the Table by Danny Meyer is an engrossing listen that’s part memoir, part hospitality handbook. Come for the storied restauranteur’s colorful descriptions of New York in the 80s and early 90s, stay for tips on hosting from the king of surprise and delight himself.
Blood, Bones & Butter is the book that inspired my culinary externship at Prune Restaurant. The audiobook is narrated by writer and restaurant owner Gabrielle Hamilton. It chronicles her life via her deeply emotional connection with food. And if you’re feeling wanderlust-y, the back half of the book is largely set in Rome. Mama mia!
Want more? Find the rest of my foodie book recommendations here!
Finally, and most robustly, my podcast lineup:
My current favorite is Celebrity Book Club. Every week, the hosts hilariously recap celebrity memoirs. And while they often cover non-foodie tomes, both Lily and Steven are clearly food, bev, and restaurant obsessed so even when the book they’re covering has nothing to do with food (or if the book they’re covering…isn’t even a book), they almost always have something food-related to say. Start with the Kitchen Confidential episode, but they also have an episode covering Setting the Table.
I’m such a fan of Home Cooking with Samin Nosrat and Hrishikesh Hirway. If you loved Samin’s book or TV show and you haven’t given this pod a try, you’re missing out. It’s on hiatus now, but the back catalogue is very much worth a listen.
If you’re looking to undo some of the damage diet culture has inevitably done while making a delicious meal, Maintenance Phase is for you. Each episode zooms in on and debunks a food and diet related myth. Think topics like “The Trouble with Calories,” “Fat Camps,” and “The Body Mass Index.” Sounds kinda heavy, but the hosts are hilarious and the tone is very light hearted.
Like Celebrity Book Club, my longtime favorite podcast Ask Ronna with Ronna (and Bryan) is not explicitly about food in any way. It’s technically an advice show, but Ronna and Bryan are both incredibly discerning when it comes to the finer things in life, so food, beverages, and hospitality come up on the regular.
The rest of my podcast lineup is less food-related and much more conversational, covering pop culture, hospitality, wellness, skincare, etc. Find some of my very favorite episodes here. You can also hear me cheekily talk about them here.
Okay, your turn! Let me know what you love to listen to? I’m especially in the market for food-related podcasts and audiobook recos. Feel free to respond directly to this email or drop a comment for the group to see!
Alright, we’ve covered it. I hope you have a lovely, well-fed week full of wonderful listening ahead.
With love and a tip of my chef’s hat,
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