“I think cooking should be taught at school, as it’s a valuable life skill – and it’s not. So what does that say about education? They want us to be dependant on brands to create our nutrition…” -DJ VADIM
Over the course of our journey through this adventure that we call TheKitchenMix, we’ve been offered many great recipes. All of our guests have offered amazing suggestions – everything from salads, sides and smoothies. So much good stuff. But DJ Vadim took the cake. What he gave us was so much more. Not only did he give us a recipe for a dish, he gave us the recipe for a full on entree complete with presentation instructions (and you know, presentation is key!).
DJ Vadim is a heralded favorite around here. The way a feast brings family together and gives them a reason to vibe, that’s what Vadim’s music has done for us. I mean it. Ever since my brother-in-law introduced us to his greatness back around ’98, we’ve been hooked. Years later when our first born started to recognize and request music it was magnetizing beats by DJ Vadim that got him rocking out. (I know I’ve got some video of him jamming out to some of it somewhere around here)
Here’s a family favorite…
And you know how much I love old school Hip Hop…
I could be here all day sharing projects and mixes that he’s worked on but I’m sure you wanna discover some of that on your own. Here‘s a good starting place. Let me just assure you that he’s got something for everybody. Believe that.
We caught up with Vadim and found a common love in not only music but one of our greatest pleasures, cooking with real, whole food ingredients. You’re going to want to set aside an afternoon to prepare the recipe he shared with us. So, check for that down below. But first, food talk with one of the greatest globetrotting DJ’s from here to the Himalayas:
TKM: How does food relate to the creation of your music?
V: Creativity for me is like a mix, a tapas, a mezze of colors and flavors. Just like when you paint, you have a huge range of colors to paint with and utencils like pencil, oil, water colors, etc, to get different effects, textures…You have that in cooking to do something similar – oven, grill, bbq, boil, saute, fry, bake etc. You can take any veg or meat and do any of those to it – or combinations of, and it will be totally different. That’s like music. You can start with a drum and take it in so many ways – make it tribal, hypnotic, melodic, melancholy, etc.
TKM: Where do you find the inspiration for your food creations? Musical creations?
V: It comes from my mind and a general instantaneous feeling of doing something. Also, it’s based on what I have around at the time. For example, if I’m cooking, I look in my fridge and see trout fillet, tomatoes, okra – OK, I can do this. Same for me in the studio. I pull out some samples, some inspiration from something I listen to and see where it goes.
TKM: What kinds of differences do you notice between American food culture and that of various other countries that you’ve visited?
V: I feel Americans in general, as a country, do not cook very much. And when they do, it’s more microwaved, processed stuff. Of course, there is a huge sub culture like Whole Foods, etc, but the U.S. is a big country. Grocery shopping in the U.S. is probably twice as expensive, if not 3 times more, than Europe. So, it’s really expensive to buy stuff to cook. It’s much cheaper to eat out at a restaurant… and that’s strange because where are they getting their stuff? If you can eat a tuna steak with salad and veggies in a restaurant for $15/20 – It would cost at least that in a supermarket. In the UK, I can cook that for $6/7. And that’s sushi grade tuna. No crap… So, the expense in genral puts people off.
Also it’s quite rare in my experience that I meet people who can cook. When I speak to people at shows and if we ever get to talk about cooking, the usual response is – No, I don’t really cook. Just maybe boil an egg or warm up soup but not preparing stuff from scratch. I think that’s terrible . I think cooking should be taught at school, as it’s a valuable life skill – and it’s not. So what does that say about education? They want us to be dependant on brands to create our nutrition…
TKM: I absolutely agree with that. What types of food are you trying to gravitate towards and what are you trying to stay away from?
V: I have a terrible sweet tooth so it’s a fight against sugar. Also, I try to avoid red meat, especially steak. I am very scared of American meat. I think it’s pumped full of chemicals and growth hormones and I do not trust the USDA labeling. The former CEO of Monsanto is running the US department of food. So, I usually stick to veggies, fruits, fish…if I know its gonna be good meat then yes.
TKM: I think a lot of times, people just don’t know. But we’re right there with you. How about this: If you could make a meal for anybody who would it be? And if you could have anyone make you a meal, who would it be?
V: Joel Robuchon! The world’s greatest chef. I would ask him to make me a 10 course tasting menu. I have eaten at his London and Paris restaurants and it’s simply out of this world. I could die after eating that.
If I was to cook for someone, that’s a hard question because you have expectations and what if it falls below what you hope for? It could be soul destroying. I love cooking for people, cook-offs and all that. On tour I always try to do a couple of dinners for people. People I meet on the road…I would love to DJ and cook at the same time. There is a DJ in Australia, DJ Cutloose, he cooks and DJ’s at the same time.
TKM: That sounds dope. Well, you’re quite the traveler. What are the best cities for food?
V: Salvador do Bahia, Brazil – the mix of Portuguese, Spanish, African and Native Indian… vatapa is delicious.
San Sebastian, Spain – the capital of food culture. Breathtaking!
Paris, France – Great restaurants. Very pricey.
Lisbon, Portugal – the world masters of anything cod or custard based…
Florence, Italy – I love Tuscan food.
Naples, Italy – amazing street food. Cheap as chips.
Tokyo, Japan – like Paris, amazing quality, choice. Japanese chefs are masters in precision, knowledge of ingedients and passion and persuance of excellence. Not just in Japanese cuisine like stews, hot pots, sushi, etc, but in world cuisine. So, an Italian restaurant in Tokyo would be as good as any restaurnat in Italy. Their attention to detail is second to none.
Sydney, Australia – such a melting pot of Asian culture and great fresh ingredients.
Singapore – melting pot of China Malay, Thai and Indian food. Like a mix.
Beirut, Lebanon. I love Arabic food – Turkish, Moroccan, Egyptian, Israeli, Persian, and Iraqi. Arabs are great at lamb, fish, salads and have great spices. Lebanese is the pinnacle for me of all the Arabic food because they all share a lot of similarites – saffron, cardomom, parsley, etc…
London – just the choice. You can taste any food from any of the 250 countries around the world. So many great restaurnats and so many great lunch time deals at Michelin Star restaurants. Unlike Paris, where you can find great food, it’s so much cheaper. In Paris for a good meal you may have to spend like 100/150/200 Euro (without wine). In London you can do an amazing lunch for 30 Euro. Big difference.
Mumbai, India – Amazing street food. So cheap.
NYC – great choice but pricey!
Havana, Cuba – something about grilled chicken, rice and beans. So simple but so delicious with plantain, etc…
TKM: Wow, that all sounds so amazing. So far, all of our travels have been mostly European in nature. So much amazing food to be had. Thanks for the breakdown. I think you just pointed us toward some of our next out of country destinations.
Daddy Vad Jerk n Ting
You can either use fish (salmon/ talapia) or chicken (breast or thigh is best and use meat on the bone as opposed to fillet, but this can be done with a fillet as well).
The marinade beneath is for about 4 people. Prep time is about 30 minutes. Marinades are always are better if you can leave them for a while but honestly, you can also cook it straight away and its delicious.
Note – The ingredient measurements beyond the jerk marinade are approximate. We include them, just to give an approximation of how much to buy when you set out to make this. Like a true chef, Vadim doesn’t find it necessary to include precise notations.
1 big bunch spring onions, roughly chopped (if you can’t get spring then 2 white onions)
thumb-sized piece of ginger, roughly chopped
4 garlic cloves
1/2 scotch bonnet chillies, deseeded if you want less heat (if you can’t get scotch bonnet, any other chille pepper you know. Use accordingly. If you don’t have chili peppers, you can use a sprinkle of dried chilie flakes)
1 teaspoon dried thyme/fresh thyme
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon allspice
3 tablespoons brown sugar or honey
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 or 2 shots of dark rum
2 tablespoons orange, pinneapple or apple juice (not from concentrate)
generous pinch of sea salt/Himalayan rock salt (try to avoid table salt)
pinch of black pepper
extra virgin olive oil, couple of good lugs
lime to garnish at the end
To make Jerk Marinade, combine all ingredients in a bowl or food processor and blend. I have done both. Do not add water as it’s supposed to be a bit pasty. Taste it as you go along. You can throw in more chilies as you go along if it’s not spicy enough. If it’s too salty, you can add more honey or sugar.
Make a few slashes in the chicken or salmon. Rub the marinade into the crevices and all over. The longer you leave it to rest the better but I often cook it straight away and it’s delicious.
I usually half oven bake at 180c for 20/25 minutes and then finish on a bbq/coals. I do this for chicken so its properly cooked from the inside out. No salmonella here, thank you! When you bbq, it’s more smoke bbq. So add some wood chips to the barby and get it super smokey.
If you don’t have a barby then place in the oven for about 40 min. Check half way through and turn the chicken around in the juices making sure all the meat is moist.
Just cut the time and do 20-25 minutes just in the oven at 180c or 10 min in the oven and 5-10 outside on bbq. Just check that it isn’t pink inside. You can eat salmon raw so this is a preference, just make sure the fish doesn’t dry out.
Potato Rosemary Butter Mash
4 medium sized sweet potatoes
2 sticks butter – or to preference
about 1/4 cup olive oil
fresh rosemary – to taste
fresh parsley – to taste
about 1/2 cup milk – (we left this out)
Once you get the marinade done, get the sweet potatoes and chop them roughly. Boil for about 30 minutes. You don’t need to finely chop them but try not to have big chunks as it will take longer to cook. I don’t bother taking the skin off, but that’s a preference.
After 30 minutes and the potatoes feel tender, remove water. Mash, add finely chopped fresh rosemary, 150 grams (10.5 tablespoons) of unsalted butter, a lug or 2 of olive oil, and a couple lugs of milk. Add a handful of finely chopped parsley and mash together. The butter makes it richer and you are probably looking at a 25% butter to potato ratio. It sounds like a lot but it’s delicious! Of course, you can use less butter, but then add more milk. Just be careful not to put too much because this isn’t a soup, it’s a mash potato so pour stir, pour stir until you get the right consistency.
Salad – Rucola Toasted Caramelized Walnuts and Strawberrys
1/4 cup walnuts
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 bunch or small bag arugula
1 pint strawberries
Take a handful of walnuts and crush them into small bits. Place into a pan with a couple of spoons of brown sugar. Put on medium heat and wait for the sugar to bubble and melt onto the walnuts.
Take them out when finished and leave on the side to get cold.
In a bowl put the arugula and chop a handful of strawberries into small bits. Mix together. Add the cold caremelized walnuts. They will, in the cooling, form a kind of block so break it gently back into parts into the bowl.
1/8 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
In another bowl add a good lug of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and sea salt – You can also add a tiny amount of dijon mustard. Mix together quickly and pour over the salad. Mix well together…
WOW! Believe me when I say that this recipe is not to be slept on. Kinda like the new material Vadim is putting out. This dude in a true innovator, always on that next level ish. Head over to djvadim.com and grab that new album for your iPad. And as always, keep it posted here for newness and future projects. Enjoy!