“I wish my husband was here because he actually has skills in the kitchen!” DJ Kiss quips as she glances up from her chopping board. “But I do know how to make some good asparagus! It’s the one dish I can do with my eyes closed!” She declares as she swiftly chops off the ends of the green vegetable bundle. I come from a long line of not-so-good cooks! My mom can cook but she’s not a southern ‘throw down’ kind of girl. There’s a great stereotype that all southerners know how to cook, but unfortunately that’s just not true, and I am an example of the contrary!”
“The reason this became my signature dish is because I really love asparagus. One day I wanted to find out all the different ways to cook it, so I ‘Googled’ it online and got to a Youtube clip of this really nice lady and she was doing a tutorial for ‘easy roasted asparagus’. I made it that day and it turned out really well. I know this because my husband loved it. He genuinely loved a dish I made!” she laughs “So after that I was like, ‘this is my dish!’ Other than that I can make scrambled eggs. You may have a heart attack after you eat them but you will love them. I slather them in butter! I have the magic touch when it comes to eggs.”
Her affinity for the vegetable is one example of the DJ’s commitment to her favorite foods. “My father is a very picky eater and I picked that up from him. It was always a constant battle in the house at dinner time. Me and my dad on one side, and my sister and my mom on the other; like a standoff! I wish I was more adventurous with food but I’m more of a creature of habit. If I like something I will make it over and over again and eat it over and over again…when I go to a restaurant, I go for a specific dish. I make my husband laugh because the waiter will come give us menus and I will peruse it and act as if I may order something different. My husband is always like ‘come on, you know what you are going to order!’ Then he will turn to the waiter and say ‘She will have the…’”
In 2002, Kiss moved to the city where she met her husband while waitressing at a restaurant where he was the in house DJ. “I would always request songs and he would never have them! So one night I burnt him a CD of all the music he didn’t have and he was like ‘wow you’re a music nerd like me!’ So one day he offered to teach me how to DJ. I fell in love with it and have been doing it ever since.”
When Kiss is spinning at an event, her hands are manning the turntables, but she has managed to perfect the art of the hors d’oeuvre maneuver. “A lot of times when I DJ they pass around hors d’oeuvres and I ALWAYS make friends with the waiters and sneak a snack or two, or three throughout the night! One night, I was at the Samsung Center in Columbus Circle. They were launching a 3D TV and they had the most amazing miniature grilled cheese sandwich they served with a miniature tomato soup. It was not only the cutest food I had ever eaten, it was the most delicious mini grilled cheese! I had my friend chase the waiters around asking them to bring us more the whole night! You see, cheese is my favorite thing in the whole world. That’s all I need in life. M.O.S. and I go to Fairway market in Redhook and spend so much money on cheese. We buy all different kinds. I could easily spend a hundred dollars on just cheese. My friend Chef Roble has this amazing grilled cheese sandwich he makes and I persuaded him to give me the recipe. The secret ingredient, which I can’t disclose made it tart, and sweet- it was amazing, and it just confirmed my undying love for grilled cheese. It was the most expensive sandwich I have ever made but it was so worth it. When it comes to grilled cheese varieties, I’m a bit of a purist. I really just want the cheese and the bread. I say, just give me the cheese!”
The spunky DJ admits that her chip obsession, which is a close second to the cheese, inspired her husband to start calling her by the pet name “Snacks”. “A big thing for me is snacks. I am always nibbling. I am less into the big meals and more into the little morsels. I always have so many varieties of chips stocked in my apartment at all times. I discovered these ones overseas.” She says as she unclips a half-eaten bag of Tyrrells English Crisps she has stored above her refrigerator. These chips saved my life one day. I was in St Tropez and I had no time to get any food- it was like 4am. I was half stumbling, the champagne from the night before had just set in. When I got to the airport there was nothing there! So I found this one shop and I saw these chips from afar because I’m a chip girl and I can see them from a mile away! I got them and they were like Manna from heaven! They were so damn good! I had to get another bag before I boarded my flight. They are really simple; just dusted with black pepper and sea salt. But when I got back to NYC and found them I was so excited. I thought it was some sort of international secret that only I knew about! Ever since them, I buy them by the boatload, which is why my husband now calls me “snacks”.
While Kiss admits to her amateur kitchen skills, both her and her husband are masters when it comes to pairing food with music. “When we cook, we generally listen to classic soul or new disco. It’s so soulful.” Right now Kiss loves “this group called Body Language. They have so much Soul!” Kiss sings “We both lean towards that when we are cooking- it’s comfortable music for us.” And although the pair is jet setting around the globe spinning music for the international Fashion Set, they always find times to eat together. “We rarely get to share meals so when we do its special. We cook for each other, light candles… Growing up it was really important to my mom that we all ate together. Even if we had different schedules, my dad was working late, I had cheerleading practice etc. she was adamant about making time for us to sit down as a family- and my husband’s family is like that also. Right now we are hustling and bustling in New York, but once we have a family you know I will be serving the family moms famous asparagus – But trust me when I say I will leave the rest of the cooking up to my husband!”
Kiss’s Favorite Restaurants & Dishes: