Lagniappe - Exploring music and food together.

Chef Chris Loss Recommends…
To Complement A Piece Of Music He Has Never Heard

With Chris Loss and Dave Schwartz


Beethoven’s Sixth Symphony
With Roasted Beets, Grilled Chicken and Asparagus

Dave:  Dr. Loss, it is the perfect time of year to introduce you to one of my favorite pieces of music, Beethoven’s 6th Symphony in F Major, Op. 68. The 6th, also known as the “Pastoral,” consists of five movements, instead of the traditional four, and Beethoven supplies a title for each that makes his artistic intentions obvious.

            I.          Awakening of cheerful feelings upon arriving in the country.
            II.         Scene by the brook.
            III.       Merry gathering of the country folk.
            IV.       Thunderstorm
            V.         Shepard’s song. Happy and grateful feelings after the storm.

The piece lasts about 45 minutes. This is an easy work to get into. Think of it as a 19th Century concept album. Sit back. Relax. Let Beethoven guide your imagination.

To complement this piece of music you have never heard, Chef, what do you recommend?


Chris:  I'm sensing steamed or roasted beets (cut to random sizes and shapes) lightly salted, peppered and coated with olive oil--served cool or at room temperature in a shallow bowl.

Place a piece of bread (if not fresh, then toast it) leaning along the inside of the bowl, and touching the red beet exudate.

Place a boneless chicken thigh in a ziplock bag with some fresh or dried herbs (any combo you prefer -I'm thinking chives, parsley and thyme) and smash it thin (with hand, hammer, or other blunt object).

When you broil, saute, or grill it, it will be done as soon as it kisses the heat.  Place the cooked chicken in the bowl, opposite the bread.

Rinse 6 or 7 spears of asparargus and cook them with the same heat that you cooked the chicken (1 minute should do), and then toss them anywhere in the bowl.

Uncork or unscrew your favorite wine, perhaps try a pinot gris –it should be a taste and aroma reflection of the earth (for some that may be water, and that's ok).  There are plenty of flavors to go around in this meal.


Enjoy the simplicity of the ingredients and at the same time the complexity of flavors.  An inaudible conversation, a debate really, between your different sense modalities will be taking place.  The gestalt of this discourse is what you'll perceive.


Dave:  I could very well say the same thing about Beethoven’s 6th, “simplicity of ingredients…complexity of flavors.” By the way, Beethoven is Dutch for “beet-garden.” Sounds like a terrific suggestion.

About Dr. Loss

Chef Chris LossChris Loss is the Director of the Ventura Center For Menu Research and Development at The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone.

He holds a Ph.D. in Food Science from Cornell University and is a 1993 graduate of the Culinary Institute of America.

Learn more about Chris Loss

The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone

Ventura Center for Menu Research and Development at CIA