How do twin DJs itching to get into the New York food scene go about doing so? you might ask. Simple. Just Google “hipster chefs in New York” and one name is sure to pop up: Sam Mason.
“We just called him up and said, ‘Hey, you don’t know us, but we have this great idea for a cooking show,'” says Darin Besnitz, one half of Finger on the Pulse with his twin brother, Greg.
The next thing you know, Dinner With the Band was born. The show–which stars Mason, who cooks for musicians while the bands in turn play for him–currently lives online, but will air on IFC in 2010. The Bresnitzes also produce Kitchen Conspirators, another online show that can be found on Food Network’s sister website, Food2.com. It follows three Brooklynites who throw underground supper club dinners for their friends and other select guests.
“The show that inspired us to do food TV was The Naked Chef. We loved how Jamie Oliver did these DIY, easy-peasy dishes for him and his mates,” says Darin. “We wanted to do something that was like that, but equal parts food and music.”
If you’re a New York foodie, you probably don’t know Greg and Darin from their food-television exploits. It’s more likely that you’ve heard of the brothers — working DJs known for their heaving parties at Studio B — for their outdoor eating events featuring cheap food by cool chefs accompanied by hip music acts. Their next Summer Blowout BBQ will be held tomorrow night at Hope Lounge, with Sam Mason manning the grill and the Harlem Shakes providing the tunes. Past BBQs have had cooks from Egg, Calexico, and Marlow & Sons in charge of the menu.
“It’s great publicity for the chefs,” Darin told Fork in the Road. “We like creating win-win situations for everybody.”
(Win: “Healthy” five-dollar plates by Mason plus a complimentary beer for us. Win: Exposure for Mason, who was forced to close the dining room at his restaurant, Tailor, for the summer due to a lack of business.)
If you can’t make tomorrow night’s feast, Finger on the Pulse will host its last Blowout August 19. The twins are also responsible for Hapa Luau at the Yard, featuring food from cultish Asian-fusion supper club Hapa Kitchen, on August 28.
The city is rife with rock star chefs, so it only makes sense that we should start to see rock star food-events producers. Because if there’s one thing New Yorkers have a greater appetite for than food, it’s the scene.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on July 28, 2009