Here at NEST HQ, cooking and food preparation is a part of our daily office life. Whether it’s the snacks we keep on-deck or the creative breakfasts and lunches many of us prepare from scratch, meal time is highly revered. Our love of food also coincides with the artists we love and share, as most of them are small-time chefs themselves. NHQ’s latest effort to showcase artistry in its many forms is by way of an artist-driven virtual cookbook. With this project, we aim to shed light on some of our favorite musicians and what they love to cook when hitting the kitchen. We’ve also asked them to include musical pairings — what they like to listen to while cooking and eating, and with what songs their selected recipes are best complemented.
Team Supreme’s Kenny Segal has been a beat master chef for well over a decade. If you’re familiar with his work from back in 2007, you might remember his “Backyard BBQ” track and music video alongside hip-hop artists Abstract Rude, Aceyalone, Busdriver, NoCanDo, and Dr. Oomp. Both food and music have been huge parts of his life. From drum n bass and hip-hop to audio engineering and a cooking show, Kenny is a man of too many talents to count. In fact, I’ve personally been bumping his Kenstrumentals Vol 2 record has been my go-to driving music since I picked it up at one of Team Supreme’s Pass The Aux event. In the coming weeks, Kenny has a collaborative eight-track jazzy hip-hop instrumental project with Mr. Carmack and Mike Parvizi (of Penthouse Penthouse) called Casual Horns, Dog.
For his Cookbook recipe with us this week, he’s offered a similar vibe as “Backyard BBQ” for you all to enjoy with friends and family. I’m sure most of you are sitting pretty with full stomachs after Thursday’s Thanksgiving meals, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get back into the celebratory mood this weekend. These jerk chicken tacos look just as good in photos as they taste in real life. “This Jerk-BBQ marinade is often my go-to when needing to do something quick and easy but still super flavorful and unique,” Kenny writes. “Some of you actually may have experienced this exact recipe at Mr Carmack’s Coachella Pop Up shop back in 2016.” Paired with good friends and a sunny afternoon with great tunes, you’ve got a recipe for one helluvah day. I decided to include the photos Kenny took with the Team Supreme crew because they’re too good not to.
Something to note, the sauce and seasoning ingredients are incredibly important. In Kenny’s own words:
I’m normally a “make it all from scratch” kind of guy in the kitchen, but sometimes its fun (and convenient) to combine some tasty store bought ingredients into a “super sauce.” Since this marinade relies on two store bought sauces, its pretty important to use the same brand and type for it to come out right.
The first sauce is Walkerswood Jerk Seasoning. It should be available at most LA area grocery stores and definitely available online. The second sauce is Sweet Baby Rays BBQ sauce. It is the only grocery store bbq sauce that I can fuck with. And to be honest, it’s better than what I’ve made when I make BBQ sauce from scratch in the past, not too sweet, very smoky. So I don’t even try to mess with the best. I suggest the regular or hickory flavor for this application.
Fire up that charcoal grill, hit up your friends, and get cooking!
“The Prep list is my favorite rap songs about food or with cool food lines in them that I like, including some from my old album Ken Can Cook.”
Kenny Segal’s Jerk BBQ Chicken Tacos with Lime Crema (serves 4-5)
3 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs
Small (street taco size) tortillas
3 Tbsp of Walkerswood Jerk Seasoning
1/3 Cup of Sweet Baby Rays BBQ Sauce
Juice of 1 lime
Splash of beer
1/3 Cup sour cream
Juice and zest of 1 lime
8 scallions chopped fine
Salt and pepper
5 ears of corn
Juice of 1 lime
1 Tbsp butter
Salt and pepper
1. Combine all ingredients except beer. Mixture should be pretty thick
2. Splash just a tiny bit of beer in to make it slightly liquid but not too runny. Use less than 1/4 of a bottle, you don’t want to dilute the flavors in that marinade too much
4. Salt and pepper the thighs and then toss them in marinade, cover and put in fridge
5. Ideally, let them sit overnight but 2 hours minimum should do it
Lime Crema: (can be made ahead of time if you want)
1. Simply combine all ingredients and mix
2. Salt and pepper to taste
3. Add more lime if it’s not showing thru enough
4. You don’t want the sauce to get too runny so make sure to use the zest too for maximum lime flavor
1. Shuck and toss in canola oil, salt, pepper, and lime juice before the grill
2. Grill them till they get a little char all over then put them in a serving dish with some pads of butter on top
3. Once the butter melts, roll them around a little and add a final salt and pepper and squeeze of lime
4. I suggest getting the corn out of the way first because it tastes good even if its sat out a little bit, plus you can use it to test the temperature of the coals in the beginning instead of potentially scorching the meat.
I love boneless chicken thighs because they are almost impossible to fuck up. Especially on the grill where it is easy to overcook and dry out chicken, the thighs stay juicy even when they get a little overdone. I prefer to use charcoal for a dish like this for the flavor, but a gas grill can work too
1. For the chicken, I use a similar technique to when I cook carne asada…I let it go until the edges start to get crispy and burnt on each side. If you try to flip it too fast it may stick
2. The trick is to let it cook until the meat releases itself from the grill as it gets char. Patience is the name of the game on this one
3. Once off the grill let the chicken rest for a few minutes and then dice it up
4. I use the residual heat on the grill to warm up the tortillas. I like the little street taco sized ones because you can make lots of little tacos
5. Load up some chicken, a small dollop of the crema, and enjoy!
“The eating playlist is all instrumental stuff ranging from cool jazzy beats to straight jazz fusion. I figure lyrics are distracting when you’re trying to eat and conversate with your friends.”
Photos by Kenny Segal and Goodnight Cody