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I Went To A Wu-Tang Dinner That Was Nothing To F*ck With

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This Wu-Tang Clan-themed pop-up dinner was nothing to fuck with. That’s for sure.

Mesa Lounge, a restaurant and bar located in Costa Mesa, CA, is known for having various chefs come in and hold pop-up dinners. One of the most recent ones we were fortunate enough to be invited to was hosted by our very own chef Linh Nguyen. The theme: The Wu-Tang Clan.

Mesa has a monthly rotating chefs table that’s music themed. When the Wu-Tang theme was brought up, the Mesa staff thought it would be appropriate for me to guest chef, because of my love for hip-hop and being the former executive chef at the Crosby.

The Crosby was a very hip-hop-fluenced restaurant venue that was located in Downtown Santa Ana. The restaurant closed its doors in early 2014, though many people still remember it fondly.

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Linh’s passion for Wu-Tang goes way back.

My love for hip-hop culture started when I was around 10. I was DJing at 12 and the first time I heard the Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) record I was awestruck. It was one of the first albums I bought in ’93: the Golden Era of hip-hop. It was an album where every verse was dope and every track could get played till my record was worn.

With the help of fellow chefs Ashley Guzman, Aron Habiger, and Mesa mixologist Katerina Mikoultchik, Linh set forth creating his Wu-Tang Dinner. He even got blessing from Wu-Tang affiliate, Killah Priest.

Killah Priest gave me the blessing for the #WUTANG #chefstable August 31st wed @mesalounge Happy bday Killah!

A photo posted by Chef Linh Nguyen (@cheflinhnguyen) on

Here’s what was on the menu, with each dish cleverly named after a Wu-Tang track close to Linh’s heart. The Warrior is the hero of the course and the Spirit is the alcoholic pairing to accompany it.

Can It All Be So Simple

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Warrior: Roasted Tokyo Turnips, Miso Brown Butter, Black Sesame, Turnip Greens, Crunch Garlic

Spirit: Anna de Codorniu, Sparkling Cava

Ooh Baby I Like It Raw

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Warrior: Hamachi, Blood Orange, Quinoa, Compressed Melon, Mint, Chili Threads

Spirit: Rum, Montenegra, Blood Orange, Lemon, Thyme

Da Mystery Of Chessboxin

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Warrior: 6 Minute Scotch Egg, Bulgogi Sauce, Kimchi Puree, Shiso, Furikake.

Spirit: Gin, Melon, Lemon, Shiso Mint, “Smoke”

Wu-Tang Clams Ain’t Nuthing To F*** With

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Warrior: Manila Clams, Spanish Chorizo, Tomato, Fennel, Harisa, Thai Basil

Spirit: Tequila, Grapefruit, Lemon, Cucumber, Thai Basil, Jalapeno

Tri-Umph

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Warrior: Wakame, Tri Tip, Burnt Onion, Rainbow Carrots, Carrot Top Pistou, Fried Enoki, Radish Sprouts

Spirit: Smith & Hook, Cabernet Sauvignon

C.R.E.A.M. (by Ashley Guzman)

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Warrior: Hazelnut Dacquise, Caramel, Namelaka, Black Truffle Ice Cream, Edible Gold

Spirit: Apple Brandy, Aged Rum, Vanilla, Falernum, Ancho Reyes, Nitro Cold Brew, Chocolate Bitters

—–

The meal was accompanied by a live band playing Wu-Tang covers and featured Chef Nguyen coming out to chat with his patrons and guide them through each course. Fellow Foodbeast Molly and I were throughly impressed with the concept, even after going to many tastings and dinners ourselves over the years.

Here’s what she had to say:

I think the dinner says a lot about how food and the way it is experienced is changing. The food was both inspired by and paired with their music and, to me, it felt like with this dinner we were essentially experiencing a crossover of multiple mediums, and considering and digesting multiple artistic aspects. In other words, I really liked how engaging the experience was.

Shout out to the Wu-Tang dinner crew for the outstanding dinner. Can’t wait to see what you come up with next.

(Guzman, Nguyen, Habiger)

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Categories
Hit-Or-Miss

Watch RZA Try To Devour These Ridiculously Spicy Vegan Hot Wings

RZA, best known as The Abbot of the Wu-Tang Clan’s Shaolin Temple, and Paul Banks, known as the slick-haired lead singer of Interpol, left their own respective music supergroups and formed a super-duo called Banks and Steelz. The two are some of the smoothest musicians in existence and attempt to take down some demonic hot wings without losing their cool.

Many celebrities have tried First We Feast’s Hot Ones Challenge, and some, like DJ Khaled, have tapped out early, so the two music legends knew they had a tall feat ahead of them.

RZA was actually the first vegan to attempt this challenge, as it usually consists of unbearably hot chicken wings, but RZA had to endure the fiery pain with vegan-alternative nuggets instead.

They started off easily enough, with Sriracha-covered wings, but by the time they got to a sauce called “Pain 100%” their faces began to shrivel and they started taking a couple extra seconds before answering host Sean Evans’ questions.

Banks tried to keep his composure the whole time, and who knows what RZA looked like behind those dark sunglasses, but the two succeeded in getting through the spicy madness, probably losing their minds after the camera cut out.

Categories
Celebrity Grub

Meet 5 Vegans Who Are More Badass Than You

People have a tendency to think of vegans as annoying, West Coast hippies who only want to destroy the dining world as you know it. People just assume they’re frail, meek, mumbly softies who, in a nasally voice, ask, “Oh no, is there cream in this?” But those are just (lazy) stereotypes. To further prove the point, here are five tough, wild, and/or reckless dudes you had no idea were vegans. They should definitely remain near the bottom of your list of desired enemies.

1. RZA
Rapper

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Wu-Tang Clan’s de facto leader is a notable vegan, having even worked with Peta to promote the meatless lifestyle. In one interview with the animal rights organization, the hip-hop innovator said, “I don’t need a dead animal or dead piece of flesh to go into my live body. There’s nothing on this planet that doesn’t want to live. I had animals as friends. They was happy to see me in their own animal way. I’m quite sure they did not want to be on my plate.” He also once rapped, “Ruler Zig-Zag-Zig Allah jam is fatal, quick to stick my Wu-Tang sword right through your navel.” Rza ain’t nuthing ta f’ wit.

2. Steve-O
Stuntman

The assumed indestructible Jackass star actually became a vegan because of his crew’s antics. Typing veganism into his desire to get clean, the wildman explained to Rolling Stone that he was doing so many drugs that he was hearing voices, finally watching a Krishna monk discussing “how it’s difficult for Westerners to be saved because there’s such little respect for life on the planet.” He ultimately found his developing belief system inconsistent with the way Jackass that messed animals in their hijinks. He’s since narrated a video for Farm Sanctuary, a group that saves farm animals from the slaughterhouse.

3. Samuel L. Jackson
Actor

Inspired after reading Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn’s book Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease: The Revolutionary, Scientifically Proven, Nutrition-Based Cure, the authoritative performer cited health reasons for going vegan, adding that he was “just trying to live forever.” He also lost a considerable amount of weight because of the diet, and Nick Fury only seems to be getting tougher.

4. John Joseph
Musician

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Fronting a hardcore band that came out of 1980s New York is a pretty immediate hand-over of cred. Add in some love for practicing boxing and you’ve got the on-and-off singer for the Cro-Mags. He’s also written a book called Meat is for Pussies: A How-To Guide for Dudes Who Want to Get Fit, Kick Ass, and Take Names, which is pretty self-explanatory.

5. Jake Shields
MMA Fighter

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Typically vegan (definitely vegetarian), the welterweight strongman is open about his day-to-day diet to show the challenges of getting so much protein without compromising a healthy lifestyle. His food intake wasn’t the starting point though, as he explained, “I never even really thought about eating meat. It’s something that always seemed a little gross to me, especially with the way animals are treated and what not. The older I got, the more I started doing a little research, and started realizing all the health benefits as well.”