“An ambience is defined as an atmosphere, or a surrounding influence: a tint.” — Brian Eno
“There is no such thing as silence.” — John Cage
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 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.
Serving Sound 1.6: Ryan Trahan’s Vestal
Nestled in the heart of downtown Lafayette, Louisiana is Vestal, the latest from Ryan Trahan, who is the Executive Chef & Partner. It’s hard to tell what grabs you first—the shaking sound of the cocktails, the stunning design of the room, the team executing flawless dishes under the watchful gaze of the diners, or the massive fire crackling away, transforming the food into something revelatory. Vestal’s menu is Ryan’s ode to Southern cuisine, pulling from passion through his family’s 60-year history of cooking in their own restaurant.
For this Serving Sound, we followed Ryan’s incredible team through a day of prep, capturing the ambient sounds of their daily ritual. Listen with your eyes closed, then watch again to see the diligence in their duties.
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.