( ENSPIRE COMMUNITY ) Stay Hungry 2016 Culinary Competition
If you are someone who enjoys good food and good music like I do then you #StayHungry. Thanks to the founders of the Stay Hungry 2016 Culinary Competition, Chef Elle of Shechef and Syreeta Gates of guests at their annual competition got to enjoy the best of both worlds. This competition was a creative idea with the goal of bringing the musical world of Hip Hop into the world of Culinary Arts and highlighting the amazing talents of artists in both industries. The co-founder Syreeta said “that their mission was to create a space that 10-20 years from now the young chefs in our kitchen will be remembered as legends like the Hip Hop artists we admire and listen to today.” Earlier this summer, teams of young inspiring culinary art students and lovers of hip hop culture were mentored by renowned chef coaches to create dishes inspired by Hip Hop lyrics of artists like Biggie, Phife, Jay Z, Kendrick Lamar and Nicki Minaj. Celebrity guests Tahiry from Love and Hip Hop NY, Miriam Osei owner of BCakeNY, Jarobi White from Tribe Called Quest and Mr. Mecc of AllHipHop.com had the honor to taste the dishes and choose the winning team.
Besides getting to taste the mouth watering food like curry chicken, watermelon salad and t-bone steaks, the atmosphere that filled the room was much like being at a Biggie concert, a perfect way to celebrate the legends birthday. You could feel the excitement and passion from the students, the audience was eager to hear which lyrics they chose and answer trivia questions and the judges deliberated very carefully because all the dishes were so delectable.
One student who won last year’s competition was simply excited to be back and lend a helping hand of service and support to a movement that helped him stay focused and clarify his purpose in life. 15 year old Timothy Williams from Queens who won last year for his team’s hamburger helper remix said “If I could cook dinner for any Hip Hop artist it would be J. Cole or Kendrick Lamar because they both grew up in similar circumstances and I would love the chance to speak to them about it. My family is from the south so I would definitely cook them mac and cheese, yams and stuffing.”
When we spoke to Dominique Nelson a 16 year old junior from Brooklyn, she said “This competition is great because I have always been around family who cooks and I love being able to cook good food. The competition shows us that we are believed in.” Dominique said she would love to cook a meal for Chris Brown because she’s loved him since 2nd grade and would love for him to taste her seafood specials like lobster and crab legs.
Celebrity Judge Jarobi of Tribe Called Quest is not only a Hip Hop legend but has been a chef for 15 years. His company Eats, Rhymes and Life Events takes great pleasure in being a part of a movement that can inspire our youth to be great and have experiences outside of those they typically see in the streets. Introduced to the competition by his good friend Chef Elle he knew that his presence would help empower the youth and show the world what we have to offer. His words of wisdom to young inspiring chefs was “Practice, work hard, work clean and treat it like an art by working outside the box and don’t be afraid to experiment.” He also told us that he would have loved to be able to break bread and converse with Old Dirty Bastard. He’s pretty sure he would have loved his fried chicken and collard greens and they would have had good food, conversation and drinks.
Last year Sean “Diddy” Combs and his team were able to see the vision of Syreeta and Chef Elle and has partnered with them and their vision to fuse Hip Hop and the culinary arts. The goal going forward is to receive more sponsorship and partner up with other artists, chefs and Hip Hop lovers who will see the vision and help it become a movement that will continue to inspire and motivate our youth.
Congratulations to the 2016 winners who prepared and fried chicken and watermelon vinaigrette salad with a delicious watermelon shot, were inspired by Kendrick Lamar’s The Blacker the Berry verse “…celebrate February like it’s my birthday or eat watermelon, chicken and Kool-Aid on weekdays…”