This past Sunday, May 20th, the culinary competition Yo Stay Hungry celebrated their 4th annual Biggie Day, a special rendition of the competition to celebrate the birthdate of Notorious BIG, at St. John’s Bread & Life in Brooklyn. Throughout the event, guests were entertained by event host and Yo Stay Hungry Founder Syreeta Gates with hip-hop trivia, giveaways, food, music and culinary designs from the five competing teams. At the end of the competition, "Team Total" led by Chef Coach Samantha Davis, owner of Savor By Sam, took the title for their “chopped cheese” recreation of Biggie’s well known lyric “T-Bone steak, cheese eggs and Welch’s grape” from the 1994 hit “Big Poppa”.
The judges, food critic Korsha Wilson, artist manager Max Clayman, Loudspeakers Network producer A-King and special guest judge entertainer Mack Wilds, all agreed that the deliberation process was heated with all passionately pushing for their favorite dishes. How could they not have favorites? Chef coach Cliff Hunt and his students took the 2nd place title with steak seared on a wooden plank decorated by fries and eggs. In 3rd place, Chef coach Leon Jardine cooked sliced steak and grapes with a pickled sauce. The two remaining chef coaches Kathy Martinez and Teri Anne Lott wowed the judges with a quiche and cheese egg omelet topped with steak but weren’t able to take home those top spots this year. Prior to joining the audience and taking his place at the judges' table, special guest Mack Wilds surprised the chef coaches and students in the kitchen, getting a sneak peek on the dishes before their presentation. Mack also lent a hand cutting up some cilantro for one of the teams - but that didn't sway any judge decisions!
One of the many highlights of the day was the distribution of the “You Got The Juice” awards, which are given to past supporting chefs of Yo Stay Hungry and the official announcement of the Chef Curry Scholarship, a monetary award given to a qualifying past participating student cook which assists in supporting their culinary dreams. This year’s You Got the Juice awards were presented to Chef DJ Dallas Green, Chef Sage Beausejour, and Chef Kristopher Edelen and the Chef Curry Scholarship was awarded to Dalvin L’elie, a student who has competed three times in the Yo Stay Hungry culinary competitions. Although the event aspects are based on food and hip-hop, the core value lies in the emphasis of healthy eating, community engagement and cultural growth, which allow it to be a larger, more impactful experience worth supporting.
The production of the event progressed seamlessly with music provided by Zaki The Barber, guest catering by Chef Nathaniel Wyatte and student co-host Sean Wilkie. At every competition, Yo Stay Hungry gives the opportunity for a young performer to take the stage and this year didn’t disappoint with the singer/rapper Izzy Finesse who empowered the audience with his original song “Ya’ll Mad’.
For more information on the Chef Curry Scholarship visit www.yostayhungry.com/scholarship.
View Event Photos Below. All photo credit Sherwin ‘ShoShots” Dyer.
Gallery Link For All Photos: https://www.facebook.com/pg/RebelleAgency/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1620817634654418
Tanisha Colon-Bibb, Rebelle Agency