Last year was the “Year of Movie and Television Show-inspired Parties” (think, Great Gatsby, Harry Potter, and Mad Men).  What’s up next? Expect to see menus inspired by music as this year’s new ‘it’ theme. Thanks to the innovative and clever website and subscription service Turntable Kitchen and the long time love affair and inspiration between professional chefs and music it was only a matter of time before this trend came around.

A few genres of music with food parings to get your toes tapping and taste buds singing:




A swingin’ night filled with jazz standards and good conversation calls for a lively menu. Jazz era foods were interesting due to many factors, (the canapes & champhome refrigerator and canning became popular at this time) but mostly because Prohibition laws put an interesting spin on all things event related. Due to proper bars and fine dining restaurants closing, many proprietors switched to selling sodas and sweets in an attempt to stay open.  You could attribute this to the beginning of American sweet tooth, and soda affair. For those looking for fun at Speakeasies, where adult beverages flowed (anything from homemade wine to bootlegged whiskey), jazz played until the early morning hours, and salty snacks were served to keep the crowd thirsty. Bite-sized foods like salted nuts, miniature ham salad sandwiches and pretzels were offered at the no-frills joints. For the upscale speakeasies it was common to have oysters on the half-shell, stuffed mushrooms, and gravlax canapés.


Jazz Inspired Food Songs:

Salt Peanuts, Dizzie Gillespie

Watermelon Man, Herbie Hancock  

Struttin’ with Some Barbeque, Louis Armstrong



Classic Rock

When we think of classic rock music, often we imagine constant partying, brazen masculinity, and heavy bluesy guitar licks.  The rock from the Short+Rib60’s and 70’s had an I-don’t-care confidence that most of the rock stars of the time embodied.  Menus inspired by classic rock should include bold foods prepared with booze, like whiskey braised short ribs, smoky beer burgers, beer braised sausages, spicy sloppy Joe’s… anything with alcohol included in the recipe!   Don’t be shy for dessert! Cut large pieces of chocolate stout cake and serve with rum raisin ice cream.  If you dare, be as brave as the rock stars of the era, serve whiskey cocktails, or pour apple juice for the lightweights–the color is so similar, no one will notice.


Classic Rock Inspired Food Songs:

Custard Pie, Led Zeppelin

Hot Potatoes, The Kinks

Brown Sugar, Rolling Stones



Hip Hop

The laid back, relaxed luxury vibe that comes with hip-hop music makes anyone feel like they could be sipping Cristal, enjoying caviar poolside champagne.pyramid.tswith their entourage.  Any extravagant culinary item fits well with a hip-hop play list inspired menu.  “Biggie’s” escargot, caviar, Kobe beef sliders, and of course fill glasses overflowing with champagne. Need more hip-hopspiration?  Take a look at this clever Atlanta restaurant, Bon Rappetite  and get the beat on your hip-hop inspired menu.



Hip Hop Inspired Food Songs:

Gin and Juice, Snoop Doggy Dog

Ham N’ Eggs, A Tribe Called Quest

Milkshake, Kelis


Do you listen to music to get your creative culinary juices flowing?  We’d love to hear from you!  What do you listen to in your kitchen?