Alessandro Zuek Simonetti per Essen A Taste Magazine© Img. 1-3 Casa di Lara Musso | Img. 4,5 at Juicy Lucy – 1st street corner with 1st ave | Img. 6-10 at Lovely Day | Img. 12-14 Max Fish – Ludlow St tra Houston e Stanton
Lara Musso is from Piemonte, Italy. Years ago she moved to New York where she became a citizen at all and where she enchanted everybody as in her original country. Now she is a dj and she spent a good spare time somehow preparing italian food for friends. No more vegetarian, she gave us selected addresses to eat in the city and prepared a mix tape.
Interviewd by Marcello Dino
You never worked as a dj in Italy, despite many proposals. What happened in New York?
I must confess that I never thought about this. Probably the main reason was that I started playing music as a game with my boyfriend at the time, he let me play some songs during his events and it was fun for me to play the music I wanted to hear/dance. Anyway, I would have never thought that it could become a real job which gives me money and which I totally enjoy!
Also, I don’t want to seem arrogant, but these Americans are incredibly skilled in mixing music without the slightest thread, so I think it was also my obsessive-compulsive side which brought me to “tidy up” the music at the parties!
I also must admit that when the first party as resident dj was offered to me (at Lit) I boasted about years of experience in Italy.. incredibly nobody ever realized that it was a lie!
You also were a vegetarian before moving to the States. Don’t tell us that a hamburger was enough to make you surrender
Hahaha absolutely not! It was a holiday in Tuscany… I couldn’t resist a delicious roast I was served during a tasting dinner. I thought it would have just been an interlude for my Italian stay, but once I got back here I realized that no coming back was possible for me! I’m still trying to eat less meat and to always know its origin.
Unfotunately, the food production laws aren’t very strict in this country and the meat companies tend to pump hormones to left right and centre. Since I turned carnivorous again, I don’t say no to a good burger from time to time!
Zaitzeff, on Ave B, is the place I recommend to those who happen in NY. They have kobe meat, various types of cheese and hand-cut fries!
Can we say that you are the new Leigh Lezark? What happened to her?
Nope, I really don’t think that I’m the new Leigh Lezark, she’s much hotter. I don’t know what happened to her, she must have found a boyfriend and started a home life.. sooner or later we all do that.
You interviewed Justine D for our magazine. She is a pastry chef dj: do you have any culinary dream to declare?
When I interviewed Justine D and I saw her creations, I thought that it should be nice to attend her school. But I told myself that I havent such high-level aspirations. I’m just glad when I prepare a dinner for my friends once in a while and with my roommates’ compliments, who seem to have never tasted some real Italian food.
For example, one day my Los Angeles roommate took a piece of parmigiana to his work and he sent me some messages from the office saying that it was the best parmigiana ever and he had to give a taste to all his colleagues. My culinary dreams are those of a provincial housewife.
Can you suggest us three places where to eat in NY?
Lovely Day – a mix of Thai and American, my favourite dish from their menu is “cashew pineapple vegetables with tofu and brown rice” spicy and tasty! And their chocolate cake is amazing! (Elizabeth Street, between Prince and Spring)
Back Forty – american revisited food, huge manu and always changing, they also have special events in different season. In january you can taste oysters and in summer tuesday night there’s “crab boil”: bucket of crabs on tables. Very good. (Avenue B, tra 11th e 12th street)
Fette Sau – the meat! Grilled, roasts, sausages and so on and so forth, you choose it at the counter and buy it by weight. A lot of draught beer, including my favourite Captain Lawrence Liquid Gold. Better to go there in summer because you can sit outside and it feels like a country fair. (Metropolitan Ave, between Havemayer and Roebling, Brooklyn)
What dish do you miss most when you’re in New York?
I think it’s more about Italian supermarkets and markets, shopping in Manhattan is very expensive and ingredients have nothing to do with those you find in our country. Cheese, meat, vegetables.. they are so different from those grown in Alba countryside.
I believe this is why I became a bit a New Yorker, cooking at home only when I have guests and eating out (or ordering delivery) most of the time..