I was rockin out with the Sous today... couldnt picture life without a radio. He was telling me a story about when he was younger, they tried taking his radio away, and he led a rebellion in the kitchen that halted production because "We don't work without music". They relented and brought the radio back. He got a severe write up, but said it was worth it for the radio.
The lead cook likes Rap, the Sous likes soft/alternative rock, and I like my heavy metal. Tonight we were rocking out to various acts like Tool, Radiohead, Megadeth, Disturbed, System of a Down, and a few others. The food was coming out perfectly, and we had a good rhythym going. We run a 1-2 person line, so theres not too much dispute about what we get to play.
But yeah, I can see why its not acceptable in an open kitchen (though as a guest in a restaurant with an open kitchen, if one of the cooks started playing something, I wouldnt mind)