This year marks the 25th anniversary of the iconic Wu-Tang Clan. The 9, although some say 10, member group solidified their place in Hip Hop history when they burst onto the scene back in the early 90s.
Fans around the world are excited to celebrate the success of the group this year, including 5 Black chefs and 1 mixologist in Charlotte, North Carolina. The group, Serving the Culture, presented their first hip hop dinner experience which was inspired by Wu-Tang. The group — made up of Chefs Shelton Starks, Jamie Barnes, Oscar Johnson, Calvin Wright Jr., Marketa Lucas, and mixologist Yashira Mejia — wanted to bring the city together over the two things that bond everyone; music and food.
The experience featured 9 courses and 4 cocktails that were inspired by the group or their songs. In between dishes, guests were able to rap along to their favorite songs by The Clan as well as answer trivia questions for Wu Tang-themed prizes.
“I am excited that more events like this are happening in Charlotte,” Bry-anne, an attendee of the event told Travel Noire. “It gives me a chance to meet more people without clubbing. It’s also a way to celebrate my culture.”
We spoke with Chef Shelton Starks, one of the lead creators of this new hip hop dinner series on why it was important to have an event like this and what’s to come in the near future.
“The vision that I had for this is two-fold,” Starks told Travel Noire. “I love food and I love hip hop and think that they marry well. Hip hop songs have a tradition of talking about food in the lyrics. I wanted to highlight hip hop artists as well as dope chefs and do a multi-course dinner.”
Starks, a huge fan of the group, wanted to highlight the rappers who did so much for the genre and simply wanted to give them their roses in his own way.
The group plans to continue this series, so this definitely won’t be the last experience like this.
“We see this going to multiple places. We want to make sure it’s hip hop centered. We also want to highlight dope chefs, especially up and coming Black chefs.”
The culinary group understands the importance of having events like this. They feel it’s necessary to highlight those chefs and mixologists who don’t get enough credit as well as highlighting the fact that Black chefs can cook at a high level, beyond the stereotypical soul food dishes.
A little birdie hinted that the next event will pay homage to ATL icons, OutKast.
To get updates for the next event, you can head to Chef Starks IG: @cltgeechie.