06 Oct עופר איתן Report: Snacky Tunes / Music Is the Main Ingredient, Chefs and Thei…
Darin and Greg Bresnitz are no newbs to the world of culinary media. In 2009, the twin duo started producing and hosting Heritage Radio Network’s Snacky Tunes, a radio show where they interview members of the culinary community, musicians, and artists. In their newest project, they keep to their culinary roots but try out a different medium.
Joining forces with Snacky Tunes podcast co-producer and long-time friend Khuong Phan, plus publishing company Phaidon, the pair see the manifestation of “Snacky Tunes: Music Is the Main Ingredient, Chefs and Their Music” has come to life.
The one-of-a-kind book tells the story of 75 chefs from around the world and how music has impacted their careers and lives all around. Filled with recipes, playlists curated by the chefs, and interviews, the book presents chefs and cuisine thought leaders in a new light.
Read our conversation about their newest project below!
The concept behind this book is very original, exploring the relationship between chefs and music. What was the inspiration behind it?
[Darin] I was living in Boston in the early 2000s, studying Television at Boston University, while going to indie shows, like Fugazi at MassArt, and exploring the city’s culinary institutions, like Deli Haus. I started seeing a lot of parallels between the punk ethos of the bands I loved and the chefs / restaurants I was gravitating to. While I was accustomed to this DIY approach to music, I started to see it develop in the food scene too. When I began thinking about what type of TV shows I’d like to make, I thought I could bring these worlds together and celebrate both artistic disciplines. The result was Dinner With The Band, the first cooking show to combine food and music and since then I’ve been constantly exploring how we can bridge the worlds of music and food.
[Greg] I have always done radio (now podcasting) since I was 18. After being Co-Music Director of KWVA-FM at the University of Oregon, I graduated enamored with Pacific Northwest musical stalwarts like K Records, Sub Pop and Kill Rock Stars along with the rise of dance-punk music (all Phones remixes please). When we started the Snacky Tunes podcast in 2009, the show was evenly split between chefs and musicians, with a few exceptions like Marc Vetri (featured in the book) sitting in on lead guitar while also talking about his culinary works. Over the years, we saw over and over again that our guests, regardless of their discipline, gave similar answers about using their talents as a means to authentically express themselves, and as vehicles for unique personal connection. Both food and music were instruments of creative expression. These stories came out over the years, but we never saw a place where they were collected and shared in a cohesive way. This is how the book was born.
What was the process like getting this book from concept to actual product?
[Greg] This idea for the book was born in July 2017 in Mexico City following a few mezcals and tuna tostadas at Contramar (featured in book). It had become clear there was a wealth of stories that had been shared on the podcast, but not collected in a way that people could see music as a creative force in the culinary world. A friend from the publishing world gave me a format to follow, and said if I did that then we would have a book proposal. With a number of friends’ tough love and encouragement, we eventually had something in working order.
Like many people, we were fans of Phaidon and the beautiful books they published. Over the years, we’ve interviewed a number of their authors and got to know the larger team. In Oct 2017, I had just come home to Brooklyn following a few weeks on the road and headed right to a Phaidon cookbook release dinner. The following night at the book signing I worked up the nerve to tell Emily Takoudes, Phaidon’s Executive Commissioning Editor of Food & Drink, that we were working on a proposal and asked if she would send it to people she knew in the industry, never thinking we would be at the level of their publications. She said sure, but asked if she could look at it first. She believed in the project from the first moment and the rest is history.
[Darin] Initially, the idea was to dig through the podcast’s archives to pull out the best of what chefs had said about music and their creative relationship with it. Once we started digging in, however, we quickly realized we were going to have to do everything from scratch. From there, we started putting together a diverse list of chefs from all over the world who we were either friends with, loved from afar or discovered during our research. Originally we had planned on working with 50 chefs, but once we got going we realized that to truly represent the world, we wanted to include closer to 80 or so chefs and restaurateurs. It took over a year to compile all of the interviews, playlists and recipes, along with editorial feedback from Phaidon, then another half a year for Omnivore to design. All in all, it’s been a three-year process from start to finish.