Introducing “Serving Sound,” a New Audio Series from FLOOD and Snacky Tunes

The first episode of the series documenting field recordings from the culinary world features Moroccan chef Najat Kaanache.

“An ambience is defined as an atmosphere, or a surrounding influence: a tint.” — Brian Eno

“There is no such thing as silence.” — John Cage 

“I use my cooking tools to create music in my kitchen. The sound of a fork or knife or spatula or plate or the door of a fridge or the motor of the engine that is running the air conditioner . . . each one of these sounds brings music to my brain and my senses without even looking. I understand the sounds within my kitchen because I understand music, and without music, my heart can’t move.” — Najat Kaanache

Hello. We’re Snacky Tunes. 

For over a decade, we’ve talked to the world’s best chefs (on our podcast from HRN) about music: the songs that inspire them, the playlists that animate their dining rooms, the bands they’ve performed in themselves. We even wrote a book about it.  

Recently, beyond the precisely curated playlists and music inspirations, we’ve been interested in the elemental, discrete sounds that punctuate a chef’s day-to-day environment: the low hum of vendors haggling at the morning farmers markets, the call and response from the kitchen pass, the percussive knife chops as vegetable are prepared, the low-roaring hiss of freshly minced garlic hitting a hot, well-oiled pan, the pitch-perfect crescendo sizzling of a divinely seared steak. 

In this new audio column for FLOOD, we’ll explore the ambient soundtrack of a life in the kitchen. These field recordings, gathered by chefs from all over the globe, grant us intimate access to the lives of acclaimed culinarians. 

To dive deeper into the subject, we recommend Kyle Chayka’s The Longing for Less

Episode 1: Najat Kaanache

We met Najat Kaanache while researching our book. A friend of a friend of a friend (you know how it goes) told us about this magical woman in Fez. Some know her as the first—and only—Moroccan chef to work at Ferran Adrià’s legendary El Bulli restaurant in Spain. Others know her as a tireless advocate for women’s rights. Many know her as a powerhouse chef and restaurateur, a new fact that so easily nestles into their brains following a meal at her restaurant Nur, a place that since its opening in 2017 has regularly been named the best Moroccan restaurant in the world

We just know her simply as Najat, a friend and simpatico spirit who graciously agreed to be the first to embark on this audio sojourn with us. If you care for something more traditional, you can listen to her “Mix of Champions” playlist which was featured in our book (it’s a fun one!), but if you’ve ever wondered what the Medina in Fez sounds like, then hurry along with us here.

About Snacky Tunes

Broadcasting since 2009, the Snacky Tunes podcast has been a weekly exploration and conversation about the cultural convergence of music and food. Over the years, co-hosts and identical twins Greg Bresnitz and Darin Bresnitz, along with Snacky Tunes co-producer Khuong Phan, have interviewed acclaimed chefs, food writers, brewers, bakers, and restaurateurs, while also recording live in-studio sets from genre-spanning indie bands and musicians.

In addition to the podcast, they wrote a book about music’s influence on the culinary world (Snacky Tunes: Music is the Main Ingredient, Chefs and Their Music, Phaidon, 2020). And inspired by the book, they collaborated on a sustainable t-shirt series with EVERYBODY.WORLD, raising money for various Chef charities around the world. 

 

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