Interview: Dubfire

Ali Shirazinia, known worldwide as Dubfire, is more than a Grammy and Beatport Award-winning master of the turntable. He's got kitchen and restaurant tables down, too. Originally from Iran and famous among fellow DJs like Carl Craig and Markus Schulz for an encyclopedic knowledge of food from the most basic to outrageously exotic, Dubfire makes it his business to combine these two passions wherever he finds himself.

Considering he typically wakes up in a different world city every morning, eating the best food around the globe from Chicago's greatest hot dog spots to Denmark's renowned Noma is simply another day in the life of one of house music's greatest minds.

What's your favorite food city to visit while on tour:

My favorite city in the world for food hands-down is Tokyo.

What are some of your favorite eating spots there?

I could list hundreds of my favorite spots, but here are a select few of my favorites:

  • Breakfast: Usually I head to Tskuji early in the morning and take my seat at Okame or Daiwa for the freshest sushi anywhere!

  • Light Snack: Ippudo for ramen or Kimu Katsu for panko-crusted pork cutlets. TO DIE FOR!

  • Lunch: Always at Anagoya in Ginza where the specialty is eel.

  • Dessert: Takemura in the Kanda area. Words or pictures could never describe my favorite destination for anything sweet!

  • Dinner: Sushi Katsu in Yokohama which is my favorite Japanese restaurant in the world. Ohashi-san is a master at what he does!

  • Bars: Shu Mi Sen, an izakaya bar about 30 min outside of Tokyo. Yonou-san, the owner, sells the rarest and best sakes I've ever had!

The last meal you made at home was...

Grilled entrecote over arugula with parmigiano reggiano.

Do you have any quirky (or strange) dietary habits?

I've always used my fork, knife and spoon in the wrong hands. I just don't think it makes any sense to swap them constantly while cutting then eating!

The first food to hit your lips in the morning/afternoon is...

Morning: oatmeal with stewed fruits, raisins, ground flax seed, sliced almonds and bananas with a sprinkle of ground nutmeg, cinnamon and cardamom. Always accompanied with vata tea. In the afternoon, typically a sandwich or a vegetarian dish.

What are your favorite food cooking shows?

Top Chef, Top Chef Masters, Hell's Kitchen, Iron Chef (original and U.S. versions), No Reservations and Bizarre Foods.

Got any pre-show advice?

Never eat anything spicy, i.e. no Korean, Thai, Mexican or Indian!

What are some food or drink requirements from your touring rider?

My rider is pretty basic — mainly Red Bull, water, soda, some beer. I do try and get some Veuve Cliquot or Junmai Daiginjyo Sake when I can!

What's your earliest cooking memory as a child?

My favorite thing was eating a Persian melon called kharbozeh mashhad. It was juicy and sweet, and I could always remember having sticky hands. No other melon has ever compared.

If you're eating after 3AM, you're likely eating...

Eggs, chips and salsa or whatever happens to be in the fridge or pantry at the time — it being late and me being typically intoxicated, it can make for some rather innovative, if bizarre, recipes. If I'm on the road, chances are I'm at a local late-night spot like Au Pied du Couchon in Paris, or Wiener Circle in Chicago.

How about the best thing your mom makes?

Anything and everything Persian! But lately she's absolutely blown my mind with her special kashk-e bademjan, which is an eggplant dip.

Who are some artists you've worked with who have surprised you by being into food:

Richie Hawtin, John Aquaviva, Christian Smith, Marco Carola, Seth Troxler, Loco Dice, Sven Vath...the list is endless!

Follow Dubfire on Twitter at @dubfire_scitec

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