Music to Simmer by : What L.A. chefs are tuned to

Mood music's a must at most restaurants, but what's going on in the kitchens? A quick survey found that some local chefs create in silence while others crave a particular sound to boost their creative juices:

Hans Rockenwagner, chef and owner of Rockenwagner: the sounds of the '70s, in particular, "anything by the Bee Gees."

Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Milliken of Border Grill: big-band salsa.

Chefs at Yang Chow: "concentrate on their cooking," but sometimes listen to soft rock, a la KOST.

Vincenti's Gino Angelini: Pavarotti or Andrea Bocelli, or the modern Italian singer Luciano Battisti.

Versailles and Mimosa: silence.

Fred Eric of Vida and Fred 62: no music when he's cooking, but loves to have Ry Cooder or Milt Jackson playing while he thinks up new dishes.

Gina DeCew of Spago: reggae or '70s beach music in her kitchen--"something fun."

Pinot Bistro's Octavio Becerra: " '80s punk; for us old fogies, World Beat, it gives us flavor. Ska and reggae for the Rasta men."

Pinot Hollywood: Van Morrison and Dire Straits.

Michael's: pastry chef Dorte Lambert-Milman is an avid KCRW listener, while chef Sang Yoon likes KROQ. Chef and owner Michael McCarty prefers Maria Callas while cooking at home.

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