Want to cook like Sean Brock? Here’s the music to help you

The chef shares his musical and culinary passions in our new book Snacky Tunes
Snacky Tunes and Sean Brock's new Spotify playlist
Snacky Tunes and Sean Brock's new Spotify playlist

For the American chef Sean Brock, music and food go hand-in-hand. “When I think of the birth of jazz and the blues in the South, I imagine the rhythms that are born in the field, especially harvesting rice,” he says in our new book Snacky Tunes, a deep and delicious investigation of the musical and gastronomic arts, from the team behind the podcast of the same name. 

The new book not only features long, revealing interviews with big name chefs such as Brock, Alex Atala, Nina Compton, Dominique Ansel and Virgilio Martínez and Pía León, among many others. It also has a playlist and a recipe from every interviewee, allowing you to recreate both the tastes and the sounds of these kitchen greats. 

Sean Brock. Photograph by Jeff Moore, Green Olive Media. Creative Commons licence
Sean Brock. Photograph by Jeff Moore, Green Olive Media. Creative Commons licence

Brock grew up in a small town in southwestern Virginia, established himself as a chef in South Carolina, and has a strong affinity with the culture of the states below the Mason-Dixon Line. He’s worked hard to preserve the vernacular cookery of region, and loves its singers and bands. Brock actually catered the wedding of Jason Isbell, the contemporary country music star, and firm Brock favourite. The chef’s Goin’ Down South playlist for Snacky Tunes features two songs by Isbell and two by the singer’s former band, The Drive-by Truckers, as well as contributions from L.R. Burnside, Junior Kimbrough and Merle Haggard.

Sean Brock's Snacky Tunes playlist on Spotify

Whenever I want to talk to people about where I live, I crank this playlist,” he says in the new book. “Southern music, like Southern food, does an amazing job of imparting what it feels like to live in the American South. This is also the playlist I enjoy on long road trips through the South, looking for the next old-timer that I can hang with and capture their story.”

Snacky Tunes

You can listen to it in full on Spotify, and if you feel like cooking along, order a copy of Snacky Tunes, which features Brock’s accompanying low-country crab rice recipe. It really is the perfect accompaniment to these songs. To find out more and order your copy go here.



Phaidon is the premier global publisher of the creative arts with over 1,500 titles in print. We work with the world's most influential artists, chefs, writers and thinkers to produce innovative books on art, photography, design, architecture, fashion, food and travel, and illustrated books for children. Phaidon is headquartered in London and New York City.
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