Welcome back to Alternative Dining, a column by Jen Chiu that explores the unconventional dining and drinking scene in Seattle, whether that be pop-up, food truck, gastro-brewpub, or underground dinner party. Got a suggestion? Leave it in the comments or send it to the tipline.
[Brown with wife Chera Amlag. Photos: S. Pratt]
If one or more of these is true:
1) You dig Filipino food and/or want to better understand the origin of the food you're eating.
2) You're a big fan of Blue Scholars.
3) When you go out to eat you like feeling as if you're going to a friend's house party.
4) You like pop-ups with swear words in their name.
Then you need to check out Food and Sh*t, a monthly pop-up run by Prometheus Brown (called Geo by his pals) of Blue Scholars and his wife, Chera Amlag. The couple, who started dating back in high school and has since been together for 20 years, changes the theme of their pop-up every month with the only constant of Filipino food as the backdrop.
The title of their most recent pop-up, Luzviminda, refers to a cluster of islands in the Philippines. The five-course meal focused on the lesser-known dishes from the Filipino countryside with a Northwest twist.
When I asked Geo about the name, "At first, Food and Sh*t was sort of a joke, placeholder name. We titled our first pop-up "Gumbo & Sh*t" not knowing if we were going to do more. We decided to stick with "Food & Sh*t" after seeing how it seemed to spark conversations and inquiries," he says. "Lately I've been telling people the name symbolizes the first two things that people of different cultural backgrounds learn from one another: Food and curse words."
One thing you can expect when you go to one of the pop-ups is to be treated like a friend invited to someone's house for a lively and fun-loving dinner party. Amidst the high fives and big bear hugs witnessed in the dining room, it's clear Brown and Amlag have amassed a loyal following. Per Amlag, "Half of the people here are regulars and the other half are newcomers to our pop-up."
Regardless of whether or not you're new to the Food and Sh*t scene, Geo, Chera, and the staff will welcome you like you're an old friend. Expect their rapper and chef friends to also make appearances in the kitchen. Garrett Doherty of the popular Kraken Congee pop-up has cooked with the duo for the past two Food and Sh*t pop-ups.
Seem strange that a rapper with deep and provocative lyrics would want to throw down in the kitchen every month? Geo explains, "Both Chera & I love to cook, and we come from families and communities where food is central to our lives, our traditions, our culture. Chera's been into baking and pastries since I can remember and I've always loved cooking, particularly Filipino food. [It's] all home cooking, either self-taught or learned from family and friends, some of whom are professionals, most of whom are just longtime home cooks."
As artists, activists, and community organizers, we see food as the ultimate expression of our culture and a bridge to learn more about people's history and current conditions."
Chera and Geo's next pop-up is in Honolulu, scheduled for June 8. The couple will soon be announcing the theme of their next Seattle pop-up, scheduled for June 16th. Tickets sell out quickly, so don't procrastinate.
You can also find the duo at the Adobofest Seattle cook-off on August 17th in Beacon Hill. Plus, they're collaborating with Li'l Woody's on a pork loin adobo burger that will be the special of the week.
· All Alternative Dining Coverage [-ESEA-]
· Food and Sh*t [Official Site]