White Chefs, Black Culture, and the Latest Culinary Faux Pas

There have been a few articles floating around about former Top Chef contestant Mike Isabella’s hip-hop-themed dinner menu. Many people are upset about certain menu items like Thug Rice, a seafood risotto, and Milk Chocolate Chip Blunts, a—I’m not really sure what these are.


Personally, the recently removed menu is mostly offensive in its very basic application of black coding. People like Isabella and the Thug Kitchen vegans curse a lot or use very elementary “ebonics,” but consistently miss the flair mark by several miles.

I always had a feeling Thug Kitchen was not actually run by people of color/lower class standing for this exact reason (and, you know, because they’re vegans).

To be clear, this type of vernacular is not totally exclusive to black people; it’s been affectionately shared with those who know about #thestruggle on a real level. When people of relative affluence/significant class mobility start using this language, however, they get into trouble because they are capitalizing on a lifestyle that typically does not bode well for those within it.

By slapping words like “thug” on your kitchen or black-dyed risotto, you take a representation of a (usually) black person (read: criminal), make light of that representation, and then profit off it.

Screenshot 2014-12-23 at 1.55.36 PM

I’m glad you asked Anon:

Cultural appropriation of black coding aside, Isabella was trying to launch this dinner on the first business day of Black History Month. It feels like his heart was in the right place and the menu could have easily been more insensitive, but no one gets gold stars for being a light racist.

The right way to make this menu work: find out what Biggie and Tupac liked to eat and recreate those dishes, make some George Washington Carver peanut glaze, and try to actually be respectful of an entire culture that’s arguably in the greatest pressure cooker since the entire Rodney King debacle.

H/t & screengrab Washington City Paper


Auntie Fee on Thug Kitchen Stealing Her Style: ‘It’s gonna ride free cause a white person wrote it’

Just a few hours ago, foul-mouthed YouTube cooking personality Auntie Fee unleashed a 7-minute lashing directed at both Thug Kitchen and the general double standard she believes exists with their cooking styles.

“It’s gonna ride, and it’s gonna ride free cause a white person wrote it.” — Auntie Fee

Thug Kitchen, as you might remember, began nearly two years ago as an anonymous vegan cooking initiative that used cuss-filled slang in their recipes to lessen the blow of corny-ness associated with vegan and healthy foods.

Their journey is commendable, but when the anonymity of their project ended on their inevitable book tour, the shock that the authors were white caused an uproar. Seriously. They had to cancel Bay Area readings due to protests.


Then there’s Auntie Fee, who rumbled onto the scene much later, her YouTube channel only dating back to July 29 of 2014. The core of their products couldn’t be further apart, Thug Kitchen pushing vegan and healthy, while Auntie Fee cooking up everything else. The only similarity between the two is that they’re vulgar and use the same vernacular someone who “fucks with that” would use.

Fee also seems to be unaware of the hate Thug Kitchen received before their white-unveil and particularly after.

VICE even wrote an entire piece on the duo:

‘Thug Kitchen’ Is the Latest Iteration of Digital Blackface — VICE

Auntie Fee has a lane of her own, though.

Her latest video blog is not to fall on deaf ears. There is still a poignant discussion to be had about double standards and hate toward the new wave of vulgarity in the kitchen (see TheVulgarChef, he burns bridges like a career and makes Auntie Fee and ThugKitchen look like extra-soft blankets).

This hate need not be polarizing to the creators, though. The attractiveness of these new alternative chefs shows us that there is plenty of room in the online kitchen for a host of new-age creators, and that the traditional cooking show is becoming passe and starting to show its age.

Auntie Fee and Thug Kitchen’s beef is not with each other, it’s with the lames who are still clinging on to the old-hat kitchen content that came before them.


This Mac N Cheese Whoopie Pie Bullies Your Basic Whoopie Pie


Dessert is probably the first thing you think about when you think about whoopie pies. False! Change your way of thinking. You will now crave something savory.

Our friend The Vulgar Chef has a churlish way of presenting his insanely tantalizing food creations and this Mac And Cheese Whoopie pie is no exception.

The chef was inspired by taking a look at the Thug Kitchen cookbook, a cookbook with healthy alternatives to the crap we usually eat. He wasn’t inspired by any particular recipe in that cookbook though. He was actually upset by it and decided to create something repulsive.

As the chef so gallantly put it, “There is nothing ‘thug’ about pumpkin chili. That’s basic bitch soup.” He then added, “This shit pissed me off so much I needed to make something filthy as fuck.”

So he created a whoopie pie dish using macaroni and cheese buns with an Easy Cheese canned-cheese filling.

I will never look at whoopie pies the same again.

H/T The Vulgar Chef

Humor Recipes

THUG KITCHEN: Roasted Strawberry Salad Recipe Ain’t Nothin’ but Plant Nachos



  • 16 medium strawberries, about 1 pound
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • a pinch of salt
  • ½ cup coconut flakes (you can use sliced almonds to save some cash)
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • a big bunch of basil, chopped into thin strips, about 2/3 cup
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 big head of lettuce (green leaf, spinach, butter, whatthefuckever kind of lettuce is fine)

Warm up your oven to 400 degrees. Cut the green tops off the strawberries and throw that shit out.  Slice the berries in half lengthwise. Toss them in a bowl with the teaspoon of olive oil and salt. Mix that shit up good so everything is coated. Put the strawberries cut side down on a cookie sheet. I hate doing dishes so I usually cover the cookie sheet with foil or something because the strawberries can release some juice and it’s annoying as fuck to clean. Roast the strawberries for 10 minutes. Throw the coconut flakes in their own section on the cookie sheet and then roast them at the same time for 3 more minutes or until the coconut looks toasted. Let everything cool the fuck down to about room temperature.

Mix together the lemon juice, vinegar, and oil in a small glass.  Toss the lettuce and the basil in a big bowl and add as much of the dressing, salt, and pepper as you like. Make sure everything is coated and then put the strawberries and coconut flakes on top.  Arrange that shit so it looks nice. If you don’t feel like fucking with the oven then just leave the strawberries raw. I don’t give a shit JUST EAT A FUCKING SALAD or 10.

Serve 4 people as a side or 1 jolly green giant.