It’s DJ Week at Food Republic, which means we are talking to some of our favorite clubland characters — but more about Serrano than Serato. And boy are they happy to tell us about their food adventures. It makes us jealous. DJ’s live the life, and they eat very, very well.
The guys behind The Hood Internet — STV SLV (Steve Reidell) and ABX (Aaron Brink) — may have established an insane devotion to roast beef chain Arby’s. Their merch and Twitter stream is peppered with references to the world’s most famous oven mitt. But you should not be fooled: the Chicago duo are no food luddites. Whether it’s hitting up their favorite taco stand in Austin or New York’s latest entrant into the fried chicken wars, food plays a big role in their 150+ days on the road. And it isn’t always blanketed with horsey sauce. We checked in with HI for their refrigerator staples, earliest food memories and a shout out to Cookin’ Wit’ Tittle. What a show.
In terms of food, what is your favorite city to visit while on tour?
STV SLV: In Austin, Texas I like Torchy’s Tacos for taco variety and their queso dip. Shout to Car Stereo Wars for putting us onto that place. Kebabalicious is a great food cart. At breakfast I fuck with Juan In A Million for The Don Juan, which I just Googled and discovered was recently on Man Vs Food.
ABX: Now that I don’t live in Chicago, I really miss the food. Kuma’s Corner is my favorite burger anywhere. They have lots of great toppings and they all come on pretzel rolls. I recommend the Mastodon. I also enjoy a quesadilla from Picante, tacos from Big Star, and a hot dog at Duk’s. Since a good deal of my time in the Chicago area is spent at O’Hare Airport, I would recommend Tortas Frontera, which is much better than airport food should be.
What are three staples in your refrigerator?
STV SLV: Coffee in the freezer. I will often pick up a pound of beans from local roasters of whatever city we’re doing a show in. Diet Dr Pepper. I like regular Dr. P better, but I don’t like cavities. Bread. Usually some 12-grain or fibrous bullshit.
ABX: Hummus, orange juice and some type of Oreo ice cream. Though I would never eat those things together.
Last meal you made at home was…
STV SLV: Grilled sockeye salmon, grilled asparagus. Thought about having some Chips Ahoy while the grill was still fired up, but didn’t have any around the house.
ABX: Tacos. I’d like to say that they were special, but I make pretty generic tacos. Which is fine because all tacos are delicious.
Do you have any quirky (or strange) dietary habits?
STV SLV: Is it quirky or strange to love Arby’s?
ABX: I know a lot of people are into it, but I really dislike mayonnaise. I can tolerate it at this point, but would never purposely order something with mayo on it.
First food to hit your lips in the morning/afternoon is…
STV SLV: Coffee or water. Then oatmeal.
ABX: Orange juice and a bagel.
Favorite cooking show on TV?
STV SLV: Cookin’ Wit’ Tittle on CAN TV (public access) in Chicago. The host La Donna Tittle is an old-school radio personality AND the woman who played Rosie the Nosey Neighbor in R. Kelly’s Trapped In the Closet.
ABX: I watched a handful of episodes of Top Chef Just Desserts because my wife is into it. That’s probably the only one I’ve really watched. I always felt like cooking shows wouldn’t be interesting because I can’t eat or smell the food I see, but I can see how people get into it when it’s a competition.
Do you have any pre-show food rituals or habits?
STV SLV: Try to find whatever’s unique to the city we’re in. That, or a local favorite.
ABX: I’m also into trying whatever local food and drinks a city has to offer. If that’s not really an option, I’ll see if Taco Bell has a new menu item to try.
Do you have any specific food or drink requirements for a show?
STV SLV: Our official rider is: a bottle of Makers Mark, a case of local beers, some sugar free Red Bull, chips and salsa, hummus and pita, raw almonds.
Earliest cooking memory as a child
STV SLV: Probably brewing up some Kool-Aid for a Kool-Aid stand.
ABX: Does turning regular milk into chocolate milk count?
If you’re eating after 3AM, you’re likely eating…
STV SLV: Mexican food.
ABX: Something delicious. There is nothing that is not delicious at 3AM. Also, probably Mexican food.
What’s your favorite music to cook to, or to have in the background while eating?
STV SLV: Top choice for cooking is naturally that cooking music by Lil B the Based God.
If you get hungry during a set, what kinds of food do you snack on that won’t get the equipment all greasy?
STV SLV: No eating during the set. At least not until we design the stage like we’re behind the counter of an Arby’s and the mixer and laptops appear to be cash registers. Then we’ll get curly fry grease all over the goddamn place.
ABX: I thought about this for a while and don’t think I have ever eaten during a set, which actually really surprises me. I think Rap Snacks would be appropriate. Maybe they can do a spin-off and put out DJ Snacks.
Name another DJ or musician you’ve worked with who is really into food.
STV SLV: Tobacco. He bought a Nintendo 3DS specifically to take 3D photos of food. 3D food porn.
ABX: I will take this chance to second Steve’s earlier shout out to DJ Car Stereo Wars for taking us to Torchy’s Tacos in Austin.
The best thing your mom cooks?
STV SLV: Barbecued pulled beef in the slow cooker. There’s a can of Coke in the recipe, so it’s known as the “Coke roast.” My version uses Dr. Pepper, but not diet, cause the important part about the soda is the sugar. So using Mexican Coke or Dublin Dr. Pepper is the way to do it.
ABX: Pastas. She has one that is penne with chicken, sun-dried tomato, Gorgonzola, pine nuts and probably some other delicious things.
Can you give us a playlist of songs you cook to?
For this playlist, we’ll be visiting a combination Pizza Hut / KFC / Taco Bell and augmenting a KFC Famous Bowl with items from the Taco Bell and Pizza Hut menus. Patton Oswalt would be proud. Or, ashamed.
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