Creating a Playlist for Your Party

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Max and Eli Sussman, two of this month’s featured chefs, share their tips for creating the right atmosphere at your next dinner party.


Put in some effort. Just the same as with cooking, if you put in the work during the process, the end result is that much better. So it’s the same with a playlist. You can always settle for a Pandora or Spotify station but that’s a bit lazy. You already slaved away in the kitchen making that 5-course meal so why sell yourself short on the music?


Figure out the vibe. Are you having a sushi rolling party? Is it a holiday cookie decorating party where everyone is wearing ugly sweaters? Is it a 1920’s cocktail themed party with mustaches and flapper dresses? The music just like the food sets the mood and dictates what type of party you’re going to have. You don’t want to be running back and forth searching for songs all night. Prepare in advance and enjoy the party.


Don’t be afraid to mix and match tunes. Perhaps counterintuitive to the above, you can play rock music at a chill party. We don’t suggest playing Sleigh Bells during the sit-down portion of the dinner, but for afterwards…no sense in trying to stop the inevitable dance party from happening. And always remember: The Beatles work in every single situation.


Treat yourself own ears as passionately as those of your guests. You are doing the cooking so you deserve to have a sick playlist blasting away the entire time. You don’t want to be stuck with flour-covered hands trying to navigate your music with your elbow or your nose. Make a big playlist and let it ride all through your day of prep and cooking.


When in doubt, Motown. It’s the best music ever made. Everyone loves it. You can’t go wrong with Motown.


See delicious recipes from up-and-coming chef Max and Eli Sussman in our new book, This Is a Cookbook: Recipes for Real Life.

2 comments about “Creating a Playlist for Your Party

  1. Ellen Lambert

    I bot a c.d. several years ago – Hot Java Jazz – not sure WHERE I got it, could’ve been W-S in San Fran, I wore the thing out. My son, when he was just a toddler, LOVED it….nice compilation of jazzy tunes. Great music to cook and clean house to!

  2. Ellen Lambert

    I meant to add, not everyone loves Motown. I do, but trust me, not everyone does. MOST people prefer the subtle style of classic singers from Jo Stafford, Rosemary Clooney, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin….nothing loud, not a lot of noise, just easy-listening. Certainly you can cull some good Motown tunes, you just have to know what to look for.


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