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Hey Cousins -

We only got a month left in the Summer, so we hope ya'll have been making the best of it. 

In this week's newsletter, we're celebrating Bun B and his culinary adventures. We've also been listening to a lot of Sade recently (it be like that sometimes) and we started pondering what meals pair well with some of her greatest hits. 

Hit our inbox and let us know what you think about this week's newsletter.

The Cookout Family 

Shouts to Buns for the Trillest Burger in America

After years of being “fascinated” by the culinary arts, Legendary Houston rapper Bun B has proven himself to not only be an admirer, but a strong contender in the food industry. Just one year following the launch of his pop up restaurant Trill Burgers, Bun B and his head chef Mike Pham have shattered the competition in winning Good Morning America’s United States of Burger’s competition. That’s right fam, Bun B’s OG Trill Burger has been crowned the best in America!
What This Means: The intersection of Black Entertainment and Food is having a big moment of recognition in popular culture, and we are here for it. More and more often we are seeing our faves step forth and diversify their business portfolios in the food space. Check out this list of examples. Whether they are founding food companies, stepping into co-ownership, or in the kitchen whipping it up, these Black celebs are making their mark in a big way.
But aside from supporting some of our favorite celebs, this venture of the Black celebrity into the food and drink industry has a much deeper significance. In our community, food and entertainment have always gone hand in hand. Whether that be family meals after church service, summer BBQs, or potluck parties, us Black folk have always placed an inherent value on food and fun. It’s a way that we’ve been able to connect by emphasizing family and community during hard times and in times of celebration. And historically, we haven’t gotten the due credit that we’ve deserved for pioneering the global tradition of marrying food and entertainment. But Oh how the tables have turned. ‘Cause mama we made it and the news is everywhere!
Black Food in Houston: When discussing tradition, it’s impossible to leave out Houston, Texas. Black folks in Houston have a long and very esteemed history in the culinary arts. Did you know that the earliest instance of barbeque in Texas came from African Americans during slavery? That’s right! We’re all grateful that traditional African meals like this have trickled down to us over time. Episode 4 of Netflix’s High On The Hog traces some of these African food traditions and how they’ve shaped the historical landscape of food amongst Black folks in Houston.
Local Spots: Today, there are roughly 700 Black owned Houston restaurants, food trucks, and bars. Each of these businesses continues Houston’s Black food legacy and honors the city’s rich culinary history with the inclusion of traditional dishes on their menus.
One restaurant that does this is Lucille’s. Like many other establishments, Lucille’s prides itself on being “defined by history” and it is evident that they are heavily inspired by the food traditions of our ancestors. If you’re looking for a few more Black owned Houston restaurants to try out during your next visit, we got you.
Houston’s Black chefs and entrepreneurs continue to put on for the city and Bun B is no exception. Big ups to Bun B on his monumentous achievement and a major salute for driving our history and culture forward on the National stage. Be sure to check out his Houston pop up and be on the lookout for the Trill Burgers brick-and-mortar storefront coming soon.

Culture and Cuisine: Sade’s Greatest Hits and The Dishes We’d Pair With Them 

As summer starts to wind down over the next few weeks, it’s time to get excited for those cozy comfort food recipes that we’ll be enjoying from now until fall. Nothing says cozy to us at The Cookout like a good meal and vibing out to some Sade Adu. You youngin’s don’t know nothin’ ‘bout Sade! But don’t worry, let your cousins put you on real quick to some classic neo-soul. Here are 4 Sade songs and the legendary meals that pair best with them.

No Ordinary Love  
For all the romantics missing your boo or trying to grab a little somebody in time for cuffing season, this is the track for you. It has that classic, smooth Sade feel with a little bit of edge. The meal that we’d pair with this song is something equally as classic and smooth, but with an eddy twist. A dish that brings a little spice, but isn’t too risque’. For that, we’d suggest Half-baked Harvest’s Spicy Pesto Pasta Alla Vodka recipe. It’s savory, creamy, smooth, and has just the right amount of kick to excite your tastebuds. Like Sade said, this is no ordinary love.

Smooth Operator  
This song is jazzy, upbeat, and silkily fun. Sade is putting homeboy on full blast in this track y’all. The subject of these lyrics is a free spirit who plays the field and has no issue getting what he wants. He’s casual, yet somehow classic. The dish that we’d pair with this track is equally spunky, casual, and fun. That’s why we’re going with chef Kardea Brown’s Lemon and Garlic Baked Chicken. A good chicken recipe is always a staple, but this sauce is an absolute standout. Serve with your choice of sides and it’s a smooth operator.

Kiss Of Life  
Kiss Of Life is a fresh jazzy track that absolutely embodies that warm and fuzzy, floating on air feeling of falling in love. For this song we’d pair a fresh indulgent salad option. After all, lyrics like “you gave me the kiss of life” demand something equally as life-giving. That’s why we’re going with Gimme Some Oven’s recipe for Strawberry Avocado Spinach Salad with Popyseed Dressing.

Is It A Crime
Miss Sade Adu come in real bold on this one y’all. The instrumentals and vocals possess a very full and round quality, and the lyrics are unafraid and audacious to match. She is sensually, unabashedly stating what she wants and the dish that we’re pairing with this track commands attention in quite the same way. That’s right, we’re talking dessert! But not just any dessert, oh no. We’re talking about pastry chef Jessica Craig’s Chocolate Honey Cake with a flavor profile so decadent and sweet that it’ll leave you asking “Is it a crime?”

We hope you enjoy this moment of culture and cuisine just as much as we do. Get into that neo-soul vibe and go ahead and thank us later. Bye Cousins!

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