Adam Rapoport On Bon Appetit's 'Dinner & A DJ' Debut

by The Daily Front Row

(NEW YORK) Sure, the food is pretty paramount to hosting a stellar dinner soiree, but what about the accompanying jams? Not to be overlooked, says Bon Appetit, and we concur! To celebrate the added deliciousness factor of the right music with your meal, the mag hosted its first “Dinner & A DJ” at the Old Bowery Station on Tuesday, pairing up with Spotify for the occasion, as part of its “Press Play” initiative and enlisting chef Alex Stupak of Empellon fame to man the kitchen. DJ Yung Skeeter brought the musical chops, and a chic crowd flocked to the bowels of the Bowery for the occasion. Lela Rose, WHIT’s Whit Pozgay, and Lulu Frost’s Lisa Salzer brought the fashion designer quotient to the mix.  

To start, cocktails mingled with apps like lamb tartare, and, of course, the parfait music to accompany hors d’oeuvres before a veritable feast of guacamole crowned with sea urchin, Maine lobster plated on a mound of tangy, buttery sweet corn esquites, and part deux of the tweaked take on surf-and-turf, a roasted rib eye slathered in bone marrow salsa. Oui, it was as delectable and decadent as one might expect. For the sweet finale? Strawberries swimming in goat’s milk, surrounding a tubular iteration of mezcal-spiked cajeta (for the record, never has a dessert seemed so adept at to providing the boozy buzz equivalent of a cocktail!) Your Daily chatted up Bon Appetit editor-in-chief Adam Rapoport for the scoop on audible and edible pairings and more…

Why did you guys select Alex Stupak to whip up this meal?
Because he takes something traditional and gives it a modern interpretation. That’s what we’re trying to do at Bon Appetit: We’re a traditional food magazine that we’re modernizing for 2013. We like working with chefs doing the same thing.  

Topping gauc with sea urchin is insane…and genius. 
Yeah, it’s crazy! Good luck finding that in your average, local Mexican restaurant. 

So, is music
really that essential to a great dining experience? 
Yes! Music at a dinner party is as crucial an ingredient as the meal itself. 

What’s the trick to being a great suppertime DJ?
The key to DJing well is to take the temperature of the room and understand when you want to turn it up or down. You’ve got to know when to make the mood more lowkey or dance-minded. What you think is going to work music-wise isn’t always going to  work, so you’ve got to be flexible. 

Are there any must-spins on your meal-accompanying soundtracks? 
There will always be some Rolling Stones, probably off the Exile at Main Street album. 

What kind of music do you find most irksome to your dining enjoyment? 
I hate house music! It sounds like a bad computer program, and it’s annoying. You’ll hear a song and it’s like, “Who wrote that?” Well, guess what. No one wrote that! Someone just programmed it in. House music always sucks. 
Gotcha! This dinner bash is in an old train station: What’s your favorite subway stop? 
I like the A/C/E stop at 14th Street and Eighth Avenue, because there are those awesome little brass sculptures of the guys with money bags sitting on the chairs. Genius! Love that. I have a wonderful photo of my five-year-old son sitting next to one of those sculptures.  

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