Music: The Essential Kitchen Ingredient for Thanksgiving

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With the enormity of most Thanksgiving undertakings, it’s easy to overlook one important ingredient – music!

KCRW’s Guest DJ Project has hosted a number of chefs over the years, talking about songs that inspire them – both in life and in the kitchen.

Vinny Dotolo. He has received attention on a national level for his creative culinary style, as well as the two restaurants he owns with partner and friend Jon Shook, Animal and Son of a Gun. In his Guest DJ set, he talks about music that captures the nautical life of his Florida childhood, his feelings of wanting to conquer the world as a teenager, and the hip hop song that inspires him to stay on top of his game.  Vinny on “My First Song” by Jay-Z:

“I think what he’s really trying to, the message he’s really trying to get across here is: Be humble. Stay on top of your game. Strike while the iron is hot. Don’t forget where you came from. Don’t forget how you started this. Treat everything like it’s new. And, I really believe in that — like wholeheartedly I really do.

I walk into the kitchen everyday knowing I can learn something. And I walk in there not even remembering any of those great things you said about me, about magazines and all that stuff, it really like never even comes across my mind. It’s truly about creating these memories and creating dishes and food that I’m proud of and, as much as I can, make the people that also participate and cook with us proud of what they do and inspire them. And I think that this song is a very inspirational and motivating song.”

Vinny Dotolo by KCRW’s Guest DJ Project

This year, KCRW has also hosted chefs Michael Voltaggio, Roy Choi, Tom Colicchio, and Jonathan Waxman. Find those sessions and many more here.