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Apr 27 / andrew

Oh You Devil Eats All Of Brooklyn

The boys of Oh You Devil spent an afternoon over microbrews and cheeseburgers on the old wooden benches of Gowanus Yacht Club discussing their most memorable meal as a band, foodie adventures throughout New York, and matzah balls made for 15 people in less then 4 hours. Between Yuri, Ari, Reinhardt and Marc — they’re quite a conglomerate of culinary differences!
Growing Up with the Bread Maker

Reinhardt Schuhmann, the band’s bassist, explains, “Growing up my dad always baked all of our bread. He hand-kneaded and put a lot of care into the family’s bread which definitely has had a pretty big influence on how I like to eat. He has a sourdough bread starter, which he’s had for about 15 years and somehow stay’s usable forever. I’m hoping one day I can inherit it down the road.”

“I do a ton of cooking, mostly simple things. Several things I like to have on hand: good sea salt, black pepper, nice parmesan cheese, pasta, olive oil. If you have that, you can always put together a decent meal for yourself and supplement with different vegetables.”

Growing up in The Great Plains

Marc Berger, the band’s guitarist, grew up in Lincoln, Nebraska – land of meat and potatoes.

“My family was transported there so we don’t have a whole lot of historical connections. Growing up it was impossible not to eat burgers, steaks and corn, all of the staples.  My dad is from Paris, and doesn’t cook a whole lot, but my grandmother in Queens does. Her cooking was hugely influential on me.”

“My mom’s side of the family is all Jewish so from her side I was brought up on briskets, and slow-roasted stuff that tends to fall apart. But for me it’s learning from my grandmother and using simple ingredients and very few things to come up with good stuff. I was also taught how to pick out produce.”

EM: “How does one pick out asparagus?”

“When you buy asparagus, you want the tips to have one or two sprouts that are actually blooming, but you don’t want any more then that, because then it will be sour tasting. Just one or two, before they’re about to turn, and it’ll be perfect.”

The band that loves dumplings

Ari Brand, the band’s keyboardist, tells EM that “For our second show as a band at Fontana’s, we went to this dumpling place on Broome and Eldridge.  I’m not sure of the name because there’s no sign, and unless you have any sense of the Chinese language, it’s mostly pointing and nodding. I hadn’t been eating meat for the past two months, but seeing those women putting those dumplings together right then and there in the middle of the restaurant, I had to have them. We must have had 75 fresh dumplings and a few plates of sesame noodles which even with the tip was probably no more then five or six bucks per person.”

Cilantro, anyone?

The herb that some people either seem to love or hate has been a hot topic as of late. While Marc stands on one side of the debate, Yuri Velez, the band’s lead singer and drummer, takes the other.

Marc: “I cannot eat a leaf of Cilantro, I know it’s a popular thing that people are coming out about. I cannot touch it. I inherited this from my grandmother, she cannot stand it. There’s an old family story when we were all out at a five star restaurant where my grandma ordered something and checked with the waiter to make sure there was no cilantro, and then checked with the chef that there was no cilantro in the dish, and they both said there wasn’t.  Still not satisfied, she asked the chef once more if he was certain that there was no cilantro in the dish, and of course there was not.”

Yuri: “I would say there is one food from my upbringing that I adore, I would like to have cilantro in everything that I eat if possible, it’s absolutely incredible. I never use it though because I don’t know how to cook many things, but if it’s in something I eat, I’ll go apeshit for it.”

The Four-Hour Matzah Balls

Any Jewish parent reading this is probably thinking this is some kind of typo, and maybe thought I meant to say fourteen-hour, or four-day matzah balls, and that was the very same reaction given by Ari Brand’s mother when he told her, one fine Passover afternoon, that he needed to make Matzah Ball soup for 15 people in four hours or less.

Ari: “She said, ‘What’re you, crazy!?’ Then, after she calmed down, told me exactly what I needed to get. I ran all over Carroll Gardens acquiring the necessary ingredients a lobster pot, and finally, with a bluetooth in one ear, I took on the unthinkable task of making matzah ball soup in four hours. ‘You have to beat the hell out of the egg’ my mother told me. ‘You want to make sure they’re nice and fluffy.’ Apparently, the moment of truth is when you drop the matzah balls in the broth. If they float, you’re good to go. If they sink, well, I’m not sure what happens. But you want them to float. And mine did. Thanks, mom.”

Favorite Restaurants

The members have their own favorite restaurants, but on the whole they all agreed that Good Fork in Red Hook was one of the best restaurants in all of New York City.

Yuri: “When I ate there, they sat me in the back next to the record player. When the record was finished playing, they told me to feel free and put whatever I felt like on next. Nothing like enjoying a delicious meal with my own music choice.”

Frankies 457, Carroll Gardens – Ari: “If we’re gonna talk favorite restaurants, right down the street from here is Frankies 457. Any special occasion or event, you go to Frankies. The cavatelli with the sausage and sage butter is unbelievable. They have these cremini mushroom with truffle oil crostinis. Everything on the menu is delicious, and they don’t take reservations but you can always get a drink on the corner at Prime Meats if you have to wait” (Albeit sometimes an hour or longer!).

The Redhead, New York City – Marc was really eager to talk about their bacon peanut brittle…who wouldn’t? He says, “Sometimes you have to wait at the bar for a table, but it’s kind of not the worst thing in the world. They serve you peanut brittle fried in bacon grease, which is pretty much as good as it sounds.”

Oh You Devil’s next show is at Bar Matchless, May 7th at 11pm. Be sure to check out their EP, available as a free download!


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  1. cymballface / Apr 28 2010

    alright, this band is the shite!

  2. Jon / Apr 28 2010

    yaaaaa boys, see you on the 7th

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