The second edition of the DJ Cookbook Dinner went down March 14th during another rainy winter evening in Brooklyn, at our home, Black Flamingo. This time around, the contributors were two New York City staples: Chef Danielle Rehfeld and DJ “Little” Louie Vega; who both have dedicated their lives to studying and giving back to the magic that makes New York so special.
Danielle has worked in some of the best kitchens in The City, including Eleven Madison Park, and recently created an online project entitled The Inherited Plate, which documents the local foods of the immigrants that inhabit New York. Louie needs little introduction, half of Masters at Work, creator of Nuyorican Soul and Elements of Life, the list goes on and on. It was obvious that these two artists combined would create an authentic homage to their hometown.
To recap, the goal of the dinners is to pair a DJ and a Chef to collaborate, from inception, on the creation of a five course vegetarian menu with unique musical accompaniment. This time around the they chose the theme, New York, the Melting Pot, in order to fuse together their shared backgrounds to create a vision for this unique experience.
While they had never met before, Danielle and Louie had several Skype calls to clarify their vision and plan the evening. At the dinner Danielle showcased her idea of the melting pot concept by serving a diverse array of “homey food”. The meal began with a playful Mezze plate with local carrots, beets and all types of radishes, a later highlight was a delicious Green Market Pozole soup, before finishing with a modern twist on the classic Tres Leches cake. Louie’s music also mixed these fresh, local, and traditional flavors and he created a DJ set that began slow and sultry, added caribbean and latin percussive flavors and culminated in a tribal house party.
Personally, I think this dinner encompassed the spirit of community beautifully and I’m so grateful to have been able to share my idea with two creative people that honor and respect their heritage as they create a new future. This night was memorable. Thanks to all that made it possible, you know who you are.