Chef Andie Hubka

Do Top Chefs Listen to Music in the Kitchen?

We asked some of the participating chefs from this month’s Palm Desert Food & Wine whether they prefer to rock out or have peace and quiet when they’re cooking.

Emily Chavous Foster Restaurants

Chef Andie Hubka

Local chef and restaurateur Andie Hubka runs three restaurants in Indio, including Cork & Fork, shown here.

We wanted to know: When it comes to music in the kitchen, do the professionals prefer music or silence? To answer this hard-hitting question, we took what we believe to be a highly scientific poll of 12 chefs from around the world (some of whom you know and love from TV) and asked them to dish on their culinary soundtrack.

As you might imagine, the responses are as varied as their culinary styles.

Each of these chefs will be hosting special demonstrations and tasting events during Palm Desert Food & Wine, March 24–26. To learn more about the annual food festival, and to purchase tickets, visit



Culinary personality and cookbook author

“Everything from folky rock like Big Thief to jazz to worship music to Lauryn Hill. But I also listen to podcasts and watch shows like Billions.”


Maître fromager 

“When cooking at home, music for sure. Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Rage Against the Machine … and I wanna hear it loud. When I’m at work, I’d rather have silence, so I can focus and hear what’s happening in the kitchen. The sounds of the grill, the sounds of the clanging pots and pans is also music to my hears.”


Chef and restaurateur

“It’s usually dealer’s choice in the kitchen. But 90 percent of the time, we have ’90s hip hop; the balance is pretty eclectic, we let the kids who intern with us pick the playlist.”


Michelin-starred chef and restaurateur

“Music during prep, silence during service. I veer toward classic rock but enjoy some punk from my days in London and Lindsay, and I really love the vibe and sounds of Leon Bridges.”


Award-winning chef and TV personality

“Music. Right now, it’s Harry Styles, ever since I saw him live in Manchester, England, this past summer.”


Culinary entrepreneur, restaurateur, and cookbook author

“Definitely music. I play bebop music and dance around the kitchen while cooking. Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra, and the big bands of the ’50s fill the air. I play it very loudly!”


Chef, Trio Restaurant

“Silence during service, music during prep — Tool.”


Executive chef, Agua Caliente Resort Casino Spa Rancho Mirage

“Silence. Hearing the sounds of a kitchen and a staff work together to achieve a common goal is actually soothing. When a team is on the same page, it’s an orchestra of callbacks and the sounds of the broiler and the protein cooking or the sear of a fish or scallop. Magical.”


Executive chef and CEO of Dahl Restaurant Group

“I adore music. I grew up where my father was so strict that only jazz was played in the house, and it was played at a volume you can’t imagine. Music was everything to my father, and it is to me too. But of course, I’m from the generation where I love The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Blind Faith, Cream, and the like. I love great singers like Luther Vandross, Rick James, and Stevie Wonder. But in my restaurants, I like jazz. So I’m all over the place.”


Executive chef, SO·PA and The Colony Club

“I prefer silence. However, I also recognize that I need to adjust to keep my team motivated and fulfilled. I allow music in the prep areas of the kitchen and usually let the cooks decide, so long as it is not too profane. As for me … steady listening to Blackpink.”


Pastry chef, culinary personality, and cookbook author

“When I was caking for clients, I would always have music blasting. But during YouTube filming, I have to cake in silence. My playlist always consists of ’90s R&B and Motown.”


Pastry chef, cookbook author, culinary personality, and restaurateur

“Broadway cast albums or ’90s pop divas.”