Every Mixtape Has a Story—Here's One From Detroit Chef Kate Williams

From divas to disheveled alt-rock.

October 13, 2017 ● 2 min read

Chef Kate Williams is the chef and owner of Lady of the House, a nose-to-tail temple of deliciousness in Detroit's historic Corktown neighborhood. Here's what she has in her musical rotation at any given moment. 

Listen now. 

It's All Wrong But It's All Right," 
Dolly Parton
Sing it, Dol. Dolly is my go-to. The hair, the boobs, the dresses...she was just epic, especially in this period. And that VOICE!

"Can't C Me," 2Pac
It's hard not to head bob when the opening beats come on. I once had a server friend tell me how he explained his "single status" to his mother: "Mom, if there was a girl that made me feel the way I feel when "Can't C Me" comes on, I would be fucking married and have renewed vows 7 times." It's that powerful.

"You're Making Me High," Toni Braxton
This and "Breathe Again" will change moods for the better. I still love you, Toni. Never change.

"Africa," Toto
Tell me you don't sing along whenever this plays!! When I was a poor culinary student in New York City, I worked as a server at this restaurant/bar on Upper East Side. We had some wild event right after most of the new crew first started and ended up partying in the rain and singing this at the top of our lungs in the bar. It was an amazing bonding moment. I'm still friends with those girls over 11 years and 5 cities later. (Did I say "partying"? I meant PRAYING. Obviously, we were PRAYING, Mom. And on our way to church.)

"Sunday Kind of Love," Etta James
For me, Etta is playing in Heaven. Seriously, when I picture Heaven, Etta James is performing the soundtrack on continuous repeat and raises her glass every time I raise my glass of red wine her way.

"Because the Night," Patti Smith
I can't express my love for this song enough. Patti is so powerful and soulful. My dream is for her to come to our kitchen (she's a former/maybe current Detroiter) and sing this with our staff after she's had a meal. Patti, we love you. Hope you see this.

"Scenario," Tribe Called Quest
90s hip hop is the greatest.

"Santeria," Sublime
Gone too soon. This beat makes me so happy. This is music for the shower for sure. SHOWER DANCING! I'm guessing someone will find that sacrilegious but there is magic in shower dancing, guys.

"Run to You," Whitney Houston
Listen. Whitney Houston's "Bodyguard" was my very first CD and then I discovered the rest of Whitney's powers. This song is played at the end of the night when enough servers are there needing some Whitney time. She's breathtaking and yet makes us all think and feel that we can sing this. RIP Whitney. Still giving us all goosebumps with your voice.

"Rosa Parks," Outkast
I also workout to this song and it never ever gets old.

"I Ain't Blue," Bonnie Raitt
LOVE THIS SONG. Love bluesy Bonnie. Although, my go-to karaoke song is "Let's Give 'Em Somethin' To Talk About."

"Save the Night," John Legend
A new favorite, but just a big John Legend fan in general.

"Nothin but a G Thing," 
Dr. Dre/Snoop Dog
An old favorite that is now even more amazing since Snoop and THE Martha Stewart are besties and shit.

"All I Want For Christmas is You," 
Mariah Carey
If you don't get this, your heart is cold and dead.

The entire 
Weezer Blue Album on repeat
My big brother introduced me to this when we were young, but this is what gets the whole kitchen HYPE for service. After a bad night in kitchen, the entire album is played on repeat. Forget Pepsi, maybe Weezer can save the world.