pop-up dining

How Tupac Shakur Continues to Inspire in 2017

How Tupac Shakur Continues to Inspire in 2017

 

Tupac might be gone, but his memory is strong in Tupac’s Powamekka Café. Inspired by the late Tupac Shakur, the New York soul food restaurant, Sweet Chick, transformed itself into a full-blown display dedicated to music, specials and the rap artist’s earliest visions.

Inspired by Music

Tupac Shakur’s history is packed with power and talent. One of his visions, alongside being a sensation, was to be a restaurant owner. His vision for a Southern comfort restaurant, today, has come to life in New York.

Lower East Side soul food restaurant founder, John Seymour, partnered with the Estate of Tupac Shakur to present Tupac-inspired art, personal childhood photos, poetry, music memorabilia and other defining mementos. While being a rapper, actor, record producer and activist, Tupac Shakur was—himself—a brand image. The Lower East Side restaurant, Sweet Chick, featured the artist’s creative vision in grand detail. Tupac constantly worked on pans and ideas, reaching far beyond film and music.

From Menu Concept to Management

Tupac’s original plans for opening a restaurant went far into the drafting stages. A menu concept was drafted, and the same menu was used by the Café’s creators to keep Tupac’s image true. Tupac’s Powamekka Café, at its core, is an ode to music, fashion, art and culture.

The event gave attendees first-hand looks at Bravado’s new, limited-edition Tupac by Vlone clothing and merchandise line. Powamekka Café offered the line to reconnect to the artist via his passion for food. C.E.O. of Bravado, Mat Vlastic, carried out the artist’s creative vision by giving fans new ways to engage with music, Tupac’s life and the artist’s surrounding lifestyle.

All About Southern Comfort

The Powamekka Café featured a slew of Southern Comfort entres, including gumbo, chicken and waffles and fried chicken wings. The chicken wings, in particular, were inspired by Tupac’s own family. His cousin Jamala offered the recipe, adding a touch of life to the menu. Fans were invited, but they needed to book reservations via Reserve’s exclusive restaurant technology.  

Even the location’s bathrooms had Tupac’s special touch, wherein men were referred to as ‘Playaz.’ The women, meanwhile, were ‘Divaz.” In the words of John Seymour, owner of Sweet Chick, Tupac practically gave them the manuscript for creation. They simply had to “fill in a few pieces of the puzzle.” The rap artist’s name lives on, and his vision is accessible via the Powamekka Café pop-up Facebook page. If you haven’t checked it out yet, you should.

Edible Graffiti in Wynwood

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It isn’t often art and food are mixed so intimately. Sara Myers’ cooking series, titled “Sprouted Chef,” returned on Monday, September 21, with an unbelievable approach to Wynwood’s already delectable art scene.

A Nontraditional Art Display

Experiential marketing efforts are constantly changing, but they’re still available to time-tested-and-true eye openers. Monday’s artistic iteration was a selection of edible masterpieces created from savory vegetable purées. Each event-goer was handed “canvas” plates—to be used for color mixing, pattern creation, texture guessing and, yes, tasting.

Each recipe, Sarah Myers revealed, was a concoction of fennel, beets, sweet potatoes, roasted red peppers, curried cauliflower, garlic spinach, carrot harissa and cashew cauliflower. Purple potatoes made an appearance, too, to spice up the color pallet. Attendees were given the option to add their own, hand-selected entree spices and sides, too, ranging across nuts, vegetables, flowers and shaved ribbons.

The Flavor Profile Creation

Primarily, Myers aimed to create a fully interactive class for participants to expand their creative horizons. By tying food and graffiti together, she was capable of ensuring the artist’s overall perspective was preserved while keeping things spicy all day. While attendees needn’t be color masters, art connoisseurs or even massively creative, the food aspect tied most together to bring visual pieces of art to life.

Collaboration wasn’t out of the cards, either. Artist Pedro Amos arrived to assist the classes. Pedro, himself, was Wynyard’s very own graffiti artist—one who’d previously painted its Orlando mural. The two hit it off, furthering the artistic allure of Wynyard. Because collaboration was more than expected, the dynamic duo succeeded in creating a truly organic event.

Combining Marketing Experiences

Sure, old dogs can’t learn new tricks. The combination of two marketing powerhouses—food and art—is, however, an entirely different beast. The Wynwood way has continuously facilitated the relationship between art and South Florida food, and Myers’ hotplate approach and homage to the historically Art-Deco-dominated area is refreshing. Where self-promotion is considered, Myers couldn’t have hit the nail squarer on the head. Her iteration of public taste tests, representation of versatility and sheer love of art carried her series, Sprouted Chef. While Sprouted Chef airs episodes on a weekly basis, events like Monday's are incredibly valuable to maintaining viewership.

It’s slightly rare to see a cooking series successfully navigate the cross-market waters between painting and food dish creation. Myers’ approach, for this reason, is both bold and innovative. Myers has wanted to propose new seasonal concepts for some time—to both elevate her show and highlight Wynwood’s community. The event crossed a communication barrier many marketing approaches fail to surpass, and Myers ability to strike up conversations about her show, on their turf, is nothing short of extraordinarily creative.