This week, general manager and culinary director Pete Dulin contributes a music playlist of favorite songs and artists below that inspire him in the kitchen.
Join us at Fence Stile for our final harvest of the season on Sunday, Oct. 1st. RSVP at firstname.lastname@example.org. Let's chat about music and food. Also, another fine cook and master of the grill, Craig Jones, joins us at Fence Stile on Sunday, Oct. 8th for a grilling demonstration and dinner with wine samples. Join us for a day of food, wine, fun, and perhaps a chat about what music moves you. RSVP at email@example.com.
Winemaker Stephen Dollar's Harvest Crush Pad Playlist
Vineyard manager Shawna Mulls' Harvest Crush Pad Playlist
"Music is certainly an inspiration when I cook," said Pete. "Sometimes music provides energy to fuel my spirit during the physical work, or it provides an internal rhythm that keeps me motivated. I don't necessarily have music playing in the kitchen at Fence Stile, but the playlist below reflects my tastes in music that is as personal as the food I create to feed others. Food and music are universal, but also highly personal."
"I rarely prepare food from a recipe," added Pete. "When cooking, I try to find a balance of flavor, color, and texture to appeal to the senses. Sometimes, I think in terms of composing music (although I am not a musician) to produce layers of flavor that have high (citrus, pepper, bright, sharp), middle (comfort, mild, like rice or noodles), and low (earthy, rustic like beans or potatoes) 'notes.' It was hard to limit the length of this playlist. I cut out many songs, but this selection expresses a range of what inspires me in the kitchen."
Ain’t Too Proud to Beg - The Temptations (video): This song reminds me of the kitchen scene in The Big Chill. Food, friends, music, and dancing. That's a perfect night. I love Motown and soul music so this song is a perfect kickoff.
The Dark End of the Street - Aloe Black & The Grand Scheme (video): This song is a modern cover of a James Carr classic. I love how the beat and guitar simmers in the background.
California Soul - Marlena Shaw (video): Gorgeous vocal phrasing, soaring strings, and easy driving rhythm inspires some hip-shaking and grooving in the kitchen.
Gotta Work - Amerie (video): This song is an anthem for me. Bold, brassy, and urgent, I like to blast this in the car as I prepare for the day ahead. No matter how tired I might be, this song kicks me in high gear to keep pushing on.
The Real Thing - Bebel Gilberto (video): Shifting gears, music and cooking has more than one speed and dimension. This sexy song glides like a silky sip of bisque on the tongue. I cook with multicultural influences that are eclectic and also reflected in my music tastes.
Samba a Dois - Los Hermanos (video): Musically and vocally, 'Samba a Dois' is stripped down and intimate. It inspires the hips and soul to move, a conversation and dance between two people. Isn't that the essence of food between the cook and the diner? Magic happens when we cook with purpose and eat with intent, paying attention to the ingredients and process and the company of those around us as our senses are stimulated.
Quelqu'un m'a dit - Carla Bruni (video): Pace matters in life, whether cooking, making wine, or tending to the vineyards. Some work happens quickly – a stir-fry, the race at crush to capture the grape's juices and inherent qualities. Other work takes time - slowly simmering stock for a soup, aging wine in barrels, or nurturing vines over seasons that produce a bounty. This song reminds me to take my time.
I Keep Faith - Billy Bragg (video): Food is a constant during the highs and lows of life. We eat to celebrate a hard day's work at harvest or a birthday, but also to bond and find comfort at a funeral reception or in the aftermath of a disaster. Billy Bragg's voice and powerful lyrics remind me that we're in this life together during the struggles and triumphs. Food brings us together when we need it most.
Train in Vain - The Clash (video): Irresistible beat, urgent words. Stand by me or not at all? Raw passion runs through this song. When I'm cooking on all cylinders, lost in the moment, songs like this are just fun to sing and puts energy in the kitchen.
All Around You - Sturgill Simpson (video): Sturgill blends honest country and soul with his singular voice, a sprinkle of piano, conversational horn section, and steady bass line. The lyrics remind me to endure and strive forward. Cooking is a way to channel the heart, mind, and body into purpose with (hopefully) a bright outcome.
You and I - Wilco (ft. Feist) (video): Sweet, simple, honest. Sometimes food needs to be simply that. Not a carnival on a plate.
Live Your Life - Yuna (video): Another soulful song that's sounds light but bears a profound message to "find your light" and live your life.
Brand and events manager, chef and cellar rat Pete Dulin documents wine, food and operations at Fence Stile Vineyards and Winery through writing and photography.