Waxman, the chef/owner of Barbuto in New York City and author Italian My Way, has a short but diverse list that includes the harmonies of The Beach Boys (“God Only Knows”) and the funk of Marvin Gaye (“Sexual Healing”). Asked if the sensuality of a song plays into his cooking style, he told KCRW, “100%. I think that cooking and music are so synonymous. I always say as a musician you do things repetitively. Cooking is exactly the same thing. You're giving something to people and I always felt that Marvin Gaye sort of gave himself to his audience – to me! I felt that he personally touched me when he sang that song. There's a lot of things about religion, there's a lot of things about sex, obviously, and he sort of helped me think about life in a really sort of germane way.”
1. God Only Knows – The Beach Boys
2. Sexual Healing – Marvin Gaye
3. Naima – John Coltrane
4. Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic – The Police
5. Deacon Blues – Steely Dan
Elina Shatkin is a staff writer at LA Weekly. Follow her at @elinashatkin or contact her at email@example.com.