The folks at Native Instruments have gone one step further than merely writing about DJs who are good at cooking—during Winter Music Conference, they're putting DJs to work in the kitchen. From March 27th-30th, the Red Bull Guest House will host the third (and the US's first) Traktor Cookery School. Guests House invitees will be treated to four lunches cooked by DJ Craze, Matthew Dear, Nicole Moudaber and the Resident Advisor crew. Miami will surely be full of truant DJs milling around aimlessly, so we might as well put 'em on grill duty.
As the world's first, best, and only DJ-who-writes-about-DJs-cooking, I knew that this story required investigation. It was also a great opportunity to fish for offers of free barbeque and invitations to beta-test unreleased Native Instruments hardware. Plus, I understand that the world looks to THUMP for insider intel and bad puns about Pete Tong's tongs.
Native Instruments' Constantin Koehncke told me that their brand ambassadors talk shop about food so often that it just made sense to throw cooking parties. "It wasn't a strategic decision to create the Cookery School as an event series," he said. "We can work with artists that we work closely with on a different level. Food is such an important part of everybody's life. DJs travel the world and come from different cultures and have a lot to talk about."
I talked to one of this year's participants, Miami native DJ Craze, about his jones for Nicaraguan carne asada and his home town restaurant recommendations. No recipes for you this time, just a sneak peak for those of you lucky enough to get invited to the Guest House.
THUMP: DJ Craze, welcome to Cooking With The DJ. Tell us what you've got going on right now.
DJ Craze: Right now I'm working on my second EP or LP for Slow Roast Records—I'm still not sure if it'll be an EP or LP. Got a lot of unfinished tunes that I'm really feeling, covering all kinds of genres. Also starting work on a very special project with one of my idols, but can't speak on that too much; just know that it'll take most of this year to work on this project. Hopefully it'll be released on Slow Roast as well.
Do you have any professional cooking experience?
I have little experience in the kitchen, but I do know how to make a mean scrambled eggs wit' toast. I also know how to make the best Tang ever!!
Have you ever done anything like this Traktor Cookery event before?
I have never done an event like this, and I'm looking forward to it. Hopefully I don't burn the house down.
What do you plan on cooking?
I think I'll be cooking carne asada, Nicaraguan style. Carne asada is my favorite dish. Every time I land from touring I go straight to Fritanga, a Nicaraguan restaurant in Miami, and get me some carne asada. I figured I'd bring a little Nicaraguan flavor to the event and show them how we eat here in Miami.
You'd be a good guy to ask about food spots in Miami. Any places you recommend for folks going down to hit up WMC?
Well, being that this is Miami and Cubans run shit, I'd say Versailles is a spot to check. Some other dope spots would be Fritanga for Nicaraguan food. Doraku is a banging sushi spot, and Texas De Brazil, a Brazilian steakhouse.
You've got serious DJ battle pedigree. If you could battle another DJ in the kitchen, who would it be?
I would battle Dieselboy in the kitchen. He's a great cook and the boy knows his shit!
We featured him in our last column, and he made a really meticulous recipe. He's good.
You should probably put your money on him.
DJ Craze is a 3-time DMC champ and general don in the game. @CRAZEARONI
Michael Fichman's favorite joint in Miami is Buenos Aires Bakery & Cafe. @djaptone.