Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Favorite things: Putumayo Presents: Acoustic France

Acoustic France

The only time I ever got a speeding ticket I was listening to music on the radio. Not long after I switched to NPR and have stayed out of trouble ever since. While driving and music are subjects that have been explored in detail, lately I've been thinking about food and music, specifically music in the kitchen and music in the dining room.

On my mother's birthday last month my family and I ate at Ad Hoc in Yountville. Dinner was delicious, though nothing earth shattering. But the music was way too loud and like that day I got pulled over, it distracted me. In the dining room I like background music. If I notice it, that's a good sign it's too loud. Meals are a precious time for me to catch up and connect with my dining companions, not to rock out. If you are a chef and want the music loud, that's fine, just please, keep it in the kitchen.

Speaking of kitchen music, I just love the new Putumayo Presents:Acoustic France CD. It's filled with jazzy, catchy, happy French songs with lush and tasty vocals and influences from as far away as Latin America. But here's the catch, because the lyrics are in French, I find it less distracting than most music. I can't promise listening to it will help you to cook as brilliantly as Jacques, but during this period of intense recipe development it's helping me to pay strict attention to detail and keep my wits about me! Of course it also doesn't hurt that in the liner notes there is a recipe for Banana and Lime Sole from famed French chef Michel Troisgros. That actually might help your cooking.

So what about you? Any preferences for music, in the kitchen and the dining room? I'd love to hear what you like or conversely, what you don't.