Drew Nocente’s Kitchen Playlist

In the first of our regular series, we got chef Drew Nocente of Salted & Hung to share his favourite songs to cook to. Rock on!

By Tiong Li Cheng | 12 April, 2017 | People, Profiles
2017-04-12 08:19:41 2018-09-15 00:31:06

True to its name, a big part of the meaty modern Australian concept along Purvis street is about “salting and hanging their meats”. Charcuterie like red wine salami, lardo, coppa (pork neck), kangaroo loin and pancetta are all cured and smoked in-house. Behind the open kitchen is Brisbane-born chef Drew Nocente who not only puts tripe, hearts and tongue on the menu, but also a mix of head-bopping hip-hop, and rock bands from Down Under on the kitchen playlist.

“As we have an open kitchen, the vibe and energy of the kitchen extends to the whole restaurant. That’s why it’s important for us to pick songs that integrates the experience. A meal at Salted & Hung should be a fun experience and when we have fun whipping up dishes in the kitchen, we hope our guests will feel the energy and have a great time, too” Nocente explains.  

Any songs on the playlist that inspired your dishes?

I think that songs don’t necessarily inspire my dishes, but the playlist is definitely a reflection of the restaurant, the food and our team as a whole. The songs we chose to play are meant to fit the vibe and atmosphere we are trying to create at Salted & Hung as it contributes a lot to the overall feel of the restaurant. I often sit down with my Beats on Sundays to find songs that really get your head bopping. When I see my guests in the restaurant do the same, I know that we’ve accomplished what we set out to do. We’re a fun, casual and energetic restaurant, and the playlist should reflect that, too.

What are the best songs for kitchen clean up?

I would say Wolfmother’s Joker and the Thief and The White Stripes’ Seven Nation Army. At the end of the night, when everyone has done a full service, you really need something punchy and catchy to get people going. These songs are intense but have the perfect amount of bounce that will push you to get stuff done. As for prep time, I always try and put more rock-heavy songs to get the pump going and get the crew motivated for the day and night ahead.

Do you have a different playlist for different times of the day?

No, we definitely want to keep the same vibe going whether it’s day or night as an experience at Salted & Hung should always be consistent. Whether guests come earlier in the day for some bites and coffee or late at night, they’ll hear the signature funky, rap and rock playlist. We’ve also got a great speaker system that allows us to zone the restaurant–from the front bar area to the main dining room and the kitchen seats. This allows us full control over the volume so that everyone is able to enjoy the music without having to shout over each other.

As editor of SALT magazine, Li Cheng spends her days eating (pancakes), drinking (buttery Chardonnays), and punching out stories faster than you can say “Where’s the food?”. When not in front of the keyboard, she enjoys classic films, Japanese-everything, and countering the calories with hot yoga.