CocinaDJ: The Dance Floor in Your Kitchen

What’s one of the most important features in the perfect kitchen? A great dance floor! We definitely spend a fair bit of time grooving in the kitchen while world music dance tunes provide the soundtrack for chopping, stirring and serving flavorful food.


We love to cook, dance and eat so much it’s time to develop a new offshoot of Central Coast Foodie—CocinaDJ—focused on great dance music and delicious food from around the world, especially from relaxed and playful Latino cultures. CocinaDJ will feature recipes in English and Spanish for healthy, easy and seasonal dishes from cuisines around the world accompanied by music from that culture so you can dance while preparing and enjoying good food. ¡Yum!

I love how some Latino musicians interject food-related words with their music: “¡Sabroso!” enthuses Poncho Sanchez amidst his Latin Jazz sounds while Celia Cruz lets out her trademark “¡Azucar!” mid-song. Tasty, catchy, sweet: music and food make great friends.

My Taste in Dance Music

acclimatizing in the Andes

In our first CocinaDJ piece, we’ll celebrate Peru with their thousands of potato types, plentiful fresh trout up high in Andean mountain streams, ubiquitous and consistently flavorful pollo ala brasa, and so much more fun and magnificence across the Peruano food universe. In 2009, soon after the California budget crisis ate my teaching job, Mr. Spice and I spent 3.5 weeks traveling through the amazing Peruano landscape. We fell in love with this country, her people, and their food.

We went with our world traveling friend Dave Thompson of Dave’s Travel Corner and Napa Wine Project. In addition to having tasted and toured at 700+ Napa wineries, Dave has explored more than 100 countries. “Peru is one of my favorites,” he says (he’s visited eight times). From the mountains in the north where some of the highest peaks in the Andes await, to the magical ruins of the Sacred Valley in the east, to the colonial artwork and architecture of temperate Arequipa in the south near the coast—this was an amazing trip.

Short of booking another flight back to Lima, we plan to travel to Peru this fall through their delicious food and music. Do you listen to Peruvian dance music? Quién? While this beautiful country produces many musical styles, we find our feet start tapping to groovy tunes along the lines of NOVALIMA. “¡Sabroso!”

Mr. Spice and I with world traveler Dave Thompson at Lago 69

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