Samuelsson: Were you the only dude growing up who was into food? Food wasn’t really a thing back then.
White: I was like a unicorn. I used to have hooky parties, where you’d ditch school and have a party at my house. I’d say, “Yo, give me four or five dollars, and I’ll make us some food.” I’d cook for my friends, play music, and that was the hustle.
Samuelsson: History class or Jarobi’s house -- I know where I’d be.
What role does music play in a restaurant kitchen?
White: Especially in the prep kitchen, it’s like a damn disco. I tend to like Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Earth, Wind & Fire. But when I’m on the line, I like Public Enemy. I need uptempo joints. I need Metallica or M.O.P. M.O.P. is fantastic in the kitchen!
Samuelsson: I have to have music, and when I was coming up, every place you went to was dead. Then in the early ’90s, I met Charlie Trotter, this god of cooking. And he said, “The only music you can play is Miles Davis.” So that opened the door.
What are the similarities between making food and making music?