With food being one of life’s biggest pleasures, it’s no wonder why the music we associate with it is always somewhat sensual.
Just watch any cooking show and you’ll hear it: cheesy jazz, salsa and bossanova playing as Nigella Lawson makes her favorite homemade ramen or Giada De Laurentiis shows us how to perfect a decadent lasagna. Food, it appears, turns us on. (And so does Nigella Lawson.)
I fell in love with cooking before I really got a taste of it. It all began as a silly childhood TV crush.
Picture it: Seven-year-old me obsessing over pristine stage kitchens, equipped with shiny appliances and an endless assortment of dainty cookie-cutters and measuring cups.
Fantasizing, though, has always been a forte of mine. Little me would draw up colorful mock menus with crayons and volunteer to serve my father wine whenever he enjoyed a glass during the weekend.
From then on, I’d also nag my parents for an Easy Bake Oven, meant for tiny wannabe chefs like myself. I got my wish a couple years later on my ninth birthday.
Turns out it’s just an oven-shaped lamp, though. Since a lightbulb is meant to cook your creations and the results are ghastly.
Needless to say, my lil’ heart was broken.
But I still dreamed of being just like Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa — dressed in a light chambray button-up, casually whisking up a lemon tart, dressing a tangy arugula salad and assembling a cheese and crostini platter for my imaginary guests. (They were bringing the flowers and the wine.)
In this vision, my kitchen, of course, was spacious, with a great view of my sumptuous garden, full of tiny, succulent tomatoes and the finest of herbs.
I always just knew it was something I was meant to be doing.
Though I still don’t have my dream kitchen or have yet hosted my dream dinner party, I do, however, have my dream cooking playlist that instantly turns any kitchen into my favorite kitchen.
Filled like tunes just like the ones you’d hear while watching your favorite celebrity chef whisk bright-yolked eggs in a bowl, this mix is a little jazzy and campy. That means lots of salsa, doo-wop and some Julio Iglesias.
It is best enjoyed during the act, of course. So whether you’re cooking up some boxed mac and cheese, mixing up a birthday cake or making a hearty stew, give this mix a shot the next time you need a spark of inspiration in the kitchen. Or just want to imagine you’re a TV chef for a day.
Want to write about a playlist of yours? Is there an album you just need to praise? Dulcet Zine welcomes submissions at firstname.lastname@example.org