Identical twins Greg and Darin Bresnitz have always had a taste for mixing food and music. Together, they’ve created the IFC Channel show, Dinner With the Band, which featured chef Sam Mason creating meals for different bands; they host the podcast Snacky Tunes on Heritage Radio Network, featuring live musical guests and food interviews; they spin at food events such as the Village Voice‘s upcoming Choice Streets as the duo Finger On the Pulse; and they host BBQ Blowout, a summer-long series of pop-up dinners from various acclaimed chefs paired with guest deejays.
BBQ Blowout began five years ago, then dubbed “Studio BBQ” as it was held on the rooftop patio of the now-closed Greenpoint night club, Studio B. Since then, it’s been at Good Company (previously known as Hope Lounge) in Williamsburg, and it will kick off its fifth season there on May 16th. The theme of this year’s food-and-music pairings, say the Bresnitz twins, is all about Brooklyn. Local chefs such as Fette Sau owner Sam Carroll will be on the bill, and Brooklyn-based music acts and deejays as well. Check out the Finger on the Pulse website for the full BBQ lineup announcement soon.
1) How did you wind up hosting BBQ Blowout for five years and running?
Bresnitz twins (speaking in unison): The first event seems like ages ago, when it was hosted at Studio B. Our friend Justine Delaney at the venue asked us if we wanted to book a deejay / barbecue event there and we wanted to pair amazing food with fantastic deejays.
2) How do you choose the restaurants in relation to the deejays at each event? Do you try to match them up in any way, other than their schedules?
Bresnitz twins: We’re always looking out for places that we love to eat at and that inspire us with the food they make. We try to keep each season thematic. Last year was all about high-end New York City restaurants so we had Recette, Buddakan and Del Posto. This year’s theme is about Brooklyn newcomers and celebrating the food happening in our backyard. As for the deejays, we try to book them with the chefs in mind so there is a solid correlation.
3) How do you manage to keep prices so cheap for a plate of food from Del Posto, etc?
Bresnitz twins: For us its about introducing people and chefs to each other. We try to keep our margins as small as possible so that the events are extremely inclusive. It makes for a really amazing mix of people and an all-around good time!
4) Is barbecue the theme for each meal? What happens with a restaurant like Frankie’s Spuntino, which has meatballs and pasta but little to do with the ‘cue?
Bresnitz twins: BBQ is the starting point of our culinary conversation. We try to work with restaurants that don’t do BBQ and get them to use it as inspiration. We love it when they can come up with unique dishes for our events that is a mix of their food and our favorite summertime grub.
5) Are you the same person?
Bresnitz twins: There are two of us! We used to be able to take a lot of the same meetings, but now it’s a lot more about splitting our duties up. We find more and more that people are saying to us, “I can’t remember the last time I saw you two together”. We’ve been working together now as business partners since 2005 and it helps having the same goals and ethics, it helps get a lot of things done faster.
6) What was your most memorable occurrence from any of the blowouts past?
Bresnitz twins: The one time it didn’t rain? We have some terrible luck with the weather which guarantees some liquid sunshine at almost any event. I think the craziest thing we saw was at one of Sam Mason’s BBQs, when the sky just opened up and lifted the bar umbrella onto the roof with rain and wind. Everyone took it in total stride and just kept on drinking eating.