The Playlist

by Lauren Hepler

From Childish Gambino to Carousel, here’s what the folks about town are listening to.

For Mina Group Executive Chef Adam Sobel, a good summer playlist is all about variety.

Sometimes his work dreaming up new dishes calls for little-known classic rock. Others, electronic or hip-hop beats have served as a soundtrack for honing recipes at restaurants like former Cow Hollow favorite Mina Test Kitchen.

“I am a serious rock and roller,” Sobel says, singling out a favorite by the Rolling Stones, “Memo to Turner,” often on repeat at the Test Kitchen.

“It’s obscure and super bluesy,” adds Sobel, a native New Yorker who is also now a partner with Mina Group. “I think that’s why I love it so much.”

I am a serious rock and roller. Chef Adam Sobel


Similarly eclectic in the mix of songs he keeps on shuffle is Mark Leno. The former California State Senator is just as likely to be listening to Miles Davis or Ella Fitzgerald as he is an early 20th-century classic by Russian composer Igor Stravinsky or even Kenny Chesney.

For philanthropist and art world staple Dede Wilsey, a song with staying power is the true mark of success. Her love for Sinatra is rivaled only by Broadway staples and powerhouse vocalists like Nina Simone.

“I love the standards, and Barbra Streisand and the old singers who can actually sing,” says Wilsey, who turns to Sirius radio for most of her music.

Sobel’s tastes also often evolve with his surroundings. When he lived in Atlanta as a young chef, it was impossible to ignore Southern hip-hop duo UGK’s 2007 smash hit “International Players Anthem.”

Still, some things — the power of Eric Clapton on the 1970 hit “Let it Rain,” for instance — never change.

“My dad claims that this song has the greatest guitar solo of all time,” Sobel says. “I don’t argue with my dad.”

Without further ado, feast your ears on these auditory adventures!

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