Samantha Duenas — known in most circles as DJ So Super Sam — is a DJ with a serious love for food and cooking. If you follow her on Instagram, you’ll see that next to music, food is the number one priority in her life. So, naturally, we knew we had to hear all about her go-to recipes (A Salt-Baked Branzino you should make this weekend), ideal food day, and food splurges. Who better to kick off our countdown to the New Year than one of the hottest DJs in L.A.?
TNP: Describe your ideal food day…
Samantha Duenas: "An ideal food day will start with delicious soft scrambled eggs, coffee and a juice. For lunch, we’ll have sushi, maybe a chirashi bowl! And dinner will be a long dinner party with a good baguette, lots of cheese, cured meats, pasta and wine. Always lots of wine and good friends. Little churros with dulce de leche for dessert. And, ideally, none of this food has calories."
TNP: What’s your drink?
"Gin and Tonic with a lime, or a bright and crispy white wine like a Sauvignon Blanc."
TNP: What would your last meal be? Who would it be with?
"Last meal would be a gigantic bowl of santouka ramen and side of pork buns from Ippudo. As for a dining companion, I’m gonna go with my friend Louise. She is one of my favorite people to eat with and she will probably tell me some goofy jokes. If I’m going, I’m going out with a laugh."
TNP: How do you start your day on a good note? Can you take us through your morning routine?
"A good morning will start by throwing a record on the turntable and then making a good cup of coffee. My boyfriend makes a delicious smoothie and the best soft-scrambled eggs I’ve ever had. That sets the tone for an amazing day."
TNP: What’s your splurge?
"Coffee. I like good coffee and don’t mind spending top dollar for a bag of beans. Lately, my favorites are Handsome Coffee and Bows and Arrows. Another splurge item is cheese! For special occasions, I hit the Silverlake Cheese Store or the cheese counter at Surfas. I have spent an embarrassing amount of money on cheeses like Red Hawk, tronchon, and ricotta. Yikes!"
TNP: Your most memorable night DJing…
"Tough question! Maybe at Terminal 5, opening up a sold out show for Childish Gambino. I had never played for that many people before, and it was electric. I was DJ’ing part-time at that point, and after that night I knew I needed to do this for real. It was also my first week as a New York resident and I thought to myself, 'What a hell of a way to start my New York life!'"
TNP: What are your favorite places to travel to?
"Kauai; it’s so beautiful, natural and remote. There’s no commercialism and no need to get dressed up. On the opposite side of the spectrum, I love Tokyo! The lights, the cute packaging, the ramen; it’s a very organized sensory overload."
"A face mask and peanut butter and jelly Kind bars."
TNP: What ingredient do you consider overrated?
TNP: What ingredient are you convinced makes everything better?
"Salt. I have a very heavy hand with the salt. And garlic. And butter. Okay, I swear that’s it."
TNP: Your afternoon snack…
"A diced avocado with chili flakes, lemon juice, Maldon salt, and pepper."
TNP: What’s always in your fridge?
"Apples, kale, white wine, unsalted butter, Greek yogurt, eggs."
TNP: Your go-to recipe for eating in…
"Roasted chicken and vegetables like cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and sweet potatoes."
TNP: Favorite night of the week, and why?
"Sunday night is a great time to lounge around in sweats, make dinner, and catch up on TV."
TNP: What are some pre and post-gig routines?
"I don't really have any routines, but pre-gig I try to stay mellow and focused because I’m a ball of nervous energy otherwise."
TNP: What are some of your favorite cities for food? Where do you go to in each?
"I love a smoked meat sandwich at Schwartz’s Deli in Montreal, and the pork butter ribs at Two Chefs in Singapore. I love eating in Atlanta too, and having poke in Hawaii. And then there’s L.A.; I love Mexican food, Korean food, and Japanese food, and L.A. is the place for it."
TNP: If you could DJ for one person in the world who would it be? What would the party be for?
"Before, my answer to this question was Hello Kitty! But I actually got to DJ for her last year! So now my new answer would have to be the L.A. Lakers, for a party in honor of Chick Hearn, the greatest sports commentator of all time."
NEXT: The New Potato Sits Down With Foodie And Musician Ziggy Marley