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25 February, 2020

Bass and Beets: Todd Terry’s Tuna Sandwich

Posted in : Bass and Beets, Food Stories, Quick Bite Recipes on by : HugoE521 Tags: ,

I’ve been fortunate to know a few amazing people in my life and there’s a special section in my heart for the unbelievably talented and genuine people that are my DJ/Producer/Singer friends. It’s like another family that I’ve been happily kidnapped inducted into. Most of the time, you’ll catch me running around with Techno Maestro Alexander Technique (Spotify Link Here)  and House god Todd Terry (Spotify Link Here) alongside their band of merry nutcases that are like crazy cousins of mine.  Combined, these two producers have seen more of the world than most flight attendants, hung out with the likes of Madonna and have endless stories that are never less than legendary.

Hugo Esteves Famous Friends

Mr. Len, Angelala, Alexander Technique, Jarobi White, Michael Moog, Hugo Esteves

From sitting in basements till the wee hours of the morning bopping to an endless amount of drum loops, discussing whether or not cars should ride themselves at a local restaurant,  to standing on a stage in front a dancing crowd of thousands and to the blurred frenzy of non-stop nights of a music conference chasing down taxi’s because someone dropped their phone (by the way, you haven’t seen anything till you see the three of us running down the streets of Amsterdam at full speed like we’re being chased by Jason Voorhees, trying to stop a taxi – it was Benny Hill with Techno music as the soundtrack)…
….It’s never a dull experience!

If you were to talk with these two men, you’d learn how humble they are and yet how outlandish their life really is. Between Todd essentially being treated like the Messiah wherever he is, opening  dance club doors with a gentle Jedi wave at the doorman and Alex making people rage on till six in the morning looking light the pre-fight scene of a German 300, or when they are both on stage and Todd Terry decides to announce over the microphone to a crowd of thousands in Ibiza  that Alexander Technique is “YOUR MAN” for party drugs leading to unknowing Alex seen later on trying to figure out why so many were suddenly clamoring to meet him – you’d never be able to put together that in the end, these two are just a pair of regular, musically talented guys from New York and New Jersey.

Hugo Esteves, Alexander Technique, Todd Terry

Hugo Esteves, Alexander Technique, Todd Terry


In 2017 I had a festival at Costa da Caparica beach in Lisbon where both Todd and Alexander were booked to play. Instead of a hotel, we opted to rent a penthouse in the Chiado neighborhood so we can relax, be as private as we wanted and cook (of course). My favorite parts of the apartment were the balcony with the overlook of downtown, a view of the river from the bazillion windows and the indoor hammock that I slept on most nights. I guess its pretty much the living situation you’d expect when your tenants are a Grammy-nominated producer, a raging techno authority and a Portuguese guy that thinks this is all normal.

Hanging with these “famous people” does lend itself to witnessing magical moments. During this stay, we found Michael Jackson’s Blood on the Dance Floor CD in the owners’ music collection (which we non-nonchalantly went through and rated) . Todd released his remix of Stranger in Moscow on that album  (Check it out here) which of course he decided to autograph the CD cover as a surprise gift for the owners. I can only imagine the owner’s surprise when he found it on the counter after we left with these pics in his email (I didn’t tell them who the people were that were staying at the apartment with me).

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It was during this autograph session that we realized something very important: We were hungry! Usually, I’d visit my favorite restaurant in Lisbon, a Baiuca do Bairo Alto,  owned by my dear friend Lili (Check it out here and tell her I sent ya). But instead Todd offered to make Tuna Salad Sandwich for dinner for Alexander and I. Oh boy.

So off we three went shopping for groceries at the local supermarket, listening to these two attempt to speak Portuguese, which inevitably led to me hearing complaints about how being on the 5th floor of a building with no elevator was sub-par promoter arrangements and borderline torture ( I was the promoter of the Lisbon event).

During the break from the “climb” to the 5th floor, Alex and I took the pleasure of landing a few verbal jabs at how we weren’t sure if Todd could cook as well as he produces and if all the pain and suffering was worth it.  A few laughs and play-by-play of the cooking technique later, Todd Terry put together the dish and I admit it was delicious. Simple, light, zesty and can easily stand on its own, upon crackers or in bread.

Below is the recipe to Todd Terry’s Tuna

Todd Terry Tuna Salad

NOTE: The following recipe is property of Todd Terry and yadayada…. InHouse is Great – and all that legal stuff. When you’re done, you can also make my Tuna Salad Supreme and let me know who did it better: (That’s right, Todd, I just called you out!)



  • Canned Tuna in Water, 2 Large Cans (drained)
  • Sweet Relish,  3 Tablespoons or as much as you like
  • White onion, julienne diced
  • Adobo Seasoning, 1.5 teaspoons (This Goya adobo is what all Puerto Ricans love)
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 2 Tablespoons
  • Red Wine Vinegar, 2 Tablespoons
  • Sliced bread loaf


Mix all ingredients except bread in mixing bowl. Refrigerate to blend flavors for about 30 minutes. Serve along or upon sliced white bread.

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