Download Chef Paul Petersen's cooking music mix of hard rock and straight-up country.

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Kitchen Rock Star
Paul Petersen, executive chef at the Gage Hotel in Marathon, Texas, used to play drums for two San Antonio bands in the 1990s.
| Credit: Meg McKinney

Paul Petersen, executive chef at the Gage Hotel in Marathon, Texas, looks like a rocker. For a time in the 1990s, he played one.

The former drummer for San Antonio bands Gollum and Scary Manilow decided to switch to cooking, training at The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York.

He still loves rock as well as country and alternative.

"If I had only one band to listen to on a deserted island for the rest of my life it would be Depeche Mode," he says.

Getting ready for the dinner rush can mean pumping up the volume. "Queens of the Stone Age and Social Distortion are my two favorite bands, but I cannot deny the Melvins. We play them when it is really hectic, and it is seriously getting ready to go down."

He started out with legendary band Kiss: "The first record I ever got was in 1976 and it was Destroyer."

The San Antonio native hasn't strayed far from the state's musical roots. "As far as Texas goes, I really like Dale Watson and Kevin Fowler, who are both country artists."

What's playing in your kitchen? Share your favorite songs in our special discussion.

Paul picked his favorite songs for a special iTunes playlist.

1. "Teenage Lobotomy" by The Ramones
2. "Folsom Prison Blues" by Johnny Cash
3. "For Whom the Bell Tolls" by Metallica
4. "Looks That Kill" by Mötley Crzüe
5. "Chloe Dancer / Crown of Thorns" by Mother Love Bone
6. "Raining Blood" by Slayer
7. "The Lost Art of Keeping a Secret" by Queens of the Stone Age
8. "Don't Change" by INXS
9. "Good Directions" by Billy Currington
10. "Ball and Chain" by Social Distortion
11. "Long Line of Losers" by Kevin Fowler
12. "Five Year Plan" by D.R.I.
13. "Calling You" by Blue October
14. "Wrapped" by George Strait
15. "Black" by Pearl Jam
16. "Whiskey or God" by Dale Watson
17. "Revolve" by Melvins
18. "Strangelove" by Depeche Mode
19. "God of Thunder" by Kiss
20. "Nightrain" by Guns N' Roses

Click here to listen to and purchase the songs through iTunes.

Paul's profile is in the Texas Living: People & Places section in the January 2008 issue of Southern Living.