The sixth edition of the DJ Cookbook dinner series was hosted by two of Miami’s best-known personalities. The legendary Arthur Baker, forefather of Miami freestyle, and Giorgio Rapicavoli of the infamous pop-up Eating House. The event took place at Soho Beach House to kick off Miami Music week 2017. The chef and DJ joined forces to bring forth their personal interpretation of how Latin flavors influenced the development of Miami culture.
For those that need a refresher, Arthur Baker not only ignited a style of music but also produced and remixed many of the most influential acts of the 80’s and 90’s like Afrika Bambaata, Planet Patrol, Hall and Oates and New Order, to name a few. Chef Giorgio Rapicavoli, although a fraction of Baker’s age has also been holding it down. He was the first winner of Chopped, the prized television show, a semi-finalist for a James Beard award, and has been nominated by Forbes as top 30 under 30 in food and wine. Today he is the Chef/Owner of Eating House and Glass and Vine in the 305.
The goal of the dinners is to bring a Chef and DJ together to collaborate on an original concept that speaks to both of them by merging music and a five course vegetarian meal. This time around the two participants used Miami beats and Peruvian flavors to create a family style dinner party. Although the participants didn’t know each other prior to the project, they did however find out they not only had friends in common and Rapicavoli had been a fan of Baker’s musical legacy, which had heavily influenced the Chef.
The dinner began with a watermelon ceviche with rocoto, scallion and ginger, followed by a sweet potato tiradito with aji amarillo, cilantro and red onion. The main course was a delectable oyster mushroom prepared anticucho style with aji panca, oregano and cumin and a cauliflower “arroz chaufa” or fried rice, with sesame and spring vegetables. The meal concluded with a playful tres leches with lime, coconut, passion fruit, guava and the secret ingredient: fruit loops.
As guests arrived and got comfortable, Baker pulled them in and set the mood with eclectic latin sounds, from acid jazz, to slow house. Ritmo Suave by Touchdown was the crescendo before everyone sat down to eat. As the food began to come out, the music turned to funk and disco; starting slow and then picking up the tempo, with afro-latin rhythms holding it all together. From there, Baker took us into his signature freestyle, with classics from The Cover Girls, Company B and some obscure cuts from his vaults. As the dinner progressed we moved to the Caribbean with sounds of rumba and then salsa, with a large helping of Fania Records classics like Mi Gente by Hector Lavoe. Showing us that Miami is truly a meeting point of Latin America and east coast, New York styles.
This evening brought together two worlds that even though far apart, inspire and propel one another to create, explore and pay homage to the origins of a revered Miami. Thanks to Soho House for hosting us and for all those that worked tirelessly to make this happen.