– Yolk me. Yolk me down.
– You know that, Chef Jeff. There you go.
– Aw, Baby. Look, I love Chicago. From a
young age. I spent my weekends, holidays and almost all my summers here with my grandparents and family on the South Side in Chatham. Because of that, it feels great to call The Second City my second home. And when it comes to eats, Chicago is arguably the
best food city in the world. That Italian beef, various forms of pizza, from deep dish to pizza puffs and my personal favorite thin crust. And you can’t talk about
this city without mentioning that perfectly cooked chicken
doused in mild sauce. Food here is so diverse. The chefs are talented, and their ability to promote and sell the dishes really takes things to another level. It’s only right “InstaChef” has arrived to see what “The Windy City” has to offer. So my special guest is hailing
all the way from Houston, Texas. He’s an artist and producer who just got off of the highly successful Astroworld Tour My good friend, Chase B, my guy. What up, though? Make sure the umbrellas– all right, we’re good! So look, we’re in Chicago. We’re on the South Side.
– South Side. You hitting that hard Jig right now.
– You know what I’m saying?
– That the hungry dance! – I’m ready to eat dance.
– We definitely got some
food and store and some chefs to meet. – You wanna roll with me?
– I have to, dog. – Dog, let’s get out of this rain right now. – I haven’t eaten since, like, Wednesday just prepping for, for today, man. -We’re going to get to the food.
But first, I want to talk about transitioning from
just being a straight DJ to being an artist. There’s only so far creatively that I can go playing a DJ set because it’s other people’s music that was,
you know, obviously given to
you. You listen to people’s, like, first mixtapes —
so even with Travis, like the whole “Owl Pharaoh” and all of that — it’s not like those songs were bad songs.
Those are classic mixtapes. It’s just that there’s certain small things that go from a cult fanbase to where everyone loves this music. – There’s an art to gaining
word-of-mouth traction. There are chefs all over the country, but especially in Chicago who are taking
those same concepts and putting it into not only their food, but
selling their food right there, going on Instagram and they’re
saying things like, “Yo, this is what I have available
either today or tomorrow. You can pick it up here or call here.” It’s — dog — it’s so amazing. Service is fire. It’s so fast, cruising. The next chef that we’re going to see is a chef who I’ve seen on Instagram and I’ve been dying to try
this food for months. Chef Jeff, his Instagram is @on_pho_nem, but the pho is “pho,” p-h-o, and…
– yeah. So he’s taking classic Chicago dishes and putting Asian-inspired spins on them. – I’m not going to lie. I’m extremely excited for this. Like I said, I haven’t eaten since like last week, so this is my first– – I smell it already.
– Excitement, man – What’s up. How you feeling?
– What’s good with you, man? I’m Cliff. – Come on in. Come on
– What’s up? Chase. – Thanks for coming, man.
– Chef, thank you so much for today. Could you tell us what’s on the menu? – So I got some lemon pepper
chicken wontons for you. – Hold on, you said that way too nonchalant.
– You said the what?
– Lemon pepper chicken wontons. So it’s reminiscent of you going to Harold’s and just getting that bite of chicken and you just biting into it. So it’s the braised chicken and
lemon pepper and mild sauce. Little bit of toasted sesame seeds on top. That’s basically gonna be like a little appetizer and your little one-bite. – One bite?
– One bite? – Got a little crunch to it, you
know. So it was like I said, it’s like eating a piece of chicken. – With the lemon pepper though?
– The timing you took to fry it perfectly held that mild sauce, and then as you’re chewing it, it’s almost like you’re eating a piece of fried chicken, man that sesame– – Sesame seed?
– The toastiness really
brings together that lemon pepper. It was delicious.
– Thank you, thank you.
-Now you said that this was only the appetizer though? – Yeah, so I got two more for you.
– Two more?
– Two more.
– Oh yeah, it’s came to the right spot. So the next thing is my take of
Biang Biang noodles. This is braised beef. So I call them West Side Bang Noodles.
– Shout out to 290 it’s that homemade egg noodle. So it’s meant to be a
little bit dense and soak up sauce. Then that’s topped with braised beef.
– I’m not looking at you. I’m looking at this grub. a little bit of parm to throw on top.
– Need that parm, need the parm. I’m going for the chopstick.
And these chopstick is y’alls too. – These not the custom–
– Dog! You wanna talk about branding and marketing. Oh my goodness.
– Hold on, dog. – Yolk me, yolk me down.
– @on_pho_nem, you know that, chef Jeff.
– Ready? Aww, Baby. Chase, it’s time, man. Toast me down.
– Beef shank. Tell me what I’m– cause it’s a lot of flavors going on here and I love every single one. – Appreciate it.
– This is just creative. – I never really tasted anything
like this before.
– So for me, the kicker within all this is that noodle. When you have that liquid, it’s able to soak all of that up. But the bite that you get from the noodle is so good and it tastes so good. The next dish is going to be my
version of chicken vesuvio. I have the same components
as a chicken vesuvio, but my broth is a Parmesan broth – With slow-braised potato with jerk in them, so that’s like a Chicago thing, you know we use jerk in everything up here. So it just similar flavors, but it tries to accompany everything that goes with it. – We spoiled.
– Well it’s a cold day
in Chicago so… – Yeah, right? – You know what I’m saying?
– And I’m at a loss for words.
– There’s levels to that one. – We’re getting Asian
flavors with each dish, but then there’s a Chicago
angle to everything. – A lot of stuff is no different than a– – Hold on. Dog, taste that That’s crazy. The jerk seasoning and flavor that you imparted you ’bout to take to a second taking it. I was gonna get to the third one
-Hello no, I’m taking this third one.
– What do you– do you have like a certain name for that? Just braised potatoes. Braised sweet potatoes. I got it from, like, my inspiration was from Korean barbecue. That potato fucked me up.
Thank you, Chef. He took us on a journey not only
through the city, but through, you know, you’re spin of Asian-style food
and I think that this is incredible. – Why Asian?
– Well, growing up like my
brother grew up listening to Wu-Tang, so that was, like, the first thing I heard was Wu-Tang. Got whooping for listening to that. I been into fine dining pretty much my whole life, and
just taking bits and pieces of where I know from my grandfather,
uncles, mom, grandmother, cooking and then just listen
to people, and doing what I can. – I do want to take some more time because we got another location. You down to roll with us?
– Yeah, let’s get it.
– Let’s do it, but before you go… I need a box of that braised beef, chef.
– Yeah, we can make it happen.
– Appreciate you, dog. Growing up, my mom always
cooked, my grandfather, uncles, so I always be in there bugging them. Then it got to the point where I
just bullshitted my way into restaurants. – Dog don’t– don’t just
say you bullshitted your way into restaurants. – That’s how it happened. I never was a dishwasher. I never did none of that. – For real?
– I bullshitted my way onto
– Let’s just call it finesse. Bullshit, that just has a
negative connotation, but finessing has a little swag to it.
– Finessed ’em. I’m a, I’m
a people person. I like just kicking it. I like my friends would be over. So that’s what really draws me
to the culinary scene and to learn how to cook more.
It’s just so I can have all my guys over. We just use kicking it.
– And what was that feeling like when you first had pho? Like what?
– It was crazy. Like I didn’t know something this simple could be so like so delicious and so hearty and so fulfilling, you know? So went to help my buddy moved to Atlanta, went to a 24 hour pho pot
I never had felt before. He might like to try new
stuff. So he says, “Go try this.” So I had ordered the biggest bowl there.
You know what I’m saying? I got some Bíhn Mí,
my just go right with it. Made a couple of batches didn’t like it cause I didn’t know what I was doing. Really made it again. My wife liked it. I had my friends come over. Like I said, I was like, man, I’ll try this out. – One thing that I’ve seen
with your Instagram is that
you are heavy in the pop up game and allowing people to eat
your food through popups.
– Correct. – As your doing this and
building this brand, you still
have another job.
– Correct. I work at a high school. Coach
basketball at Waukegan. I love the kids. You know what I’m saying?
What up, kids? I feel like I’m a role model to them because I’m closer to their age. – Oh 100% Mr. Williams is doing this. He got this going in the
community, he’s doing this. He got @on_pho_nem and popping. – You’re a prime example of hustling positively in the community like, “Yeah, I’m still doing this at the school, but I’m also whipping up crazy–” Bruh. West Side Bang Noodles.
That just doesn’t happen. – That’s why I asked you in the house, “Why Asian?” The Kids that you’re coaching. When I was their age and a lot of people like me, I had no idea what pho even was, you know what I’m
saying? I’m still even– not even at my age now not 100% familiar with it. So to have it presented that way
was just such an easy transition. You allow that moment to educate and I think as we eat sometimes we’re giving people a history lesson. We are on our way to see chef Tina.
– I’m friends with Tina Gray out of Chicago. – I think we might be seeing you soon, but carry on. – Look at us, foreshadowing.
– Chef Tina splits her time between Chicago and LA, but no matter what, she always makes sure the drive the point home that she’s from Chicago. So y’all still hungry? Are you still hungry, Chase?
– I could eat for sure.
– All right. – Jeff, you with us?
– I got a little room for it. Y’all ready for this?
– Oh yeah. – What’s up, chef? It smells so good in here,
chef. Thank you so much for just allowing us in your home today. – Oh, no problem, anytime. – Could you tell us what’s on the menu?
_ What’s on the menu! You smart! What we have on the menu today is jerk chicken and mac & cheese egg rolls, and we also have a Turkey taco egg roll. You
might want to marry me after this dish. But, you know, I don’t really
know if I’m on the market yet. I don’t like to be looked at as a chef because I don’t feel like I’m chef. I feel like I’m more than a chef. Kind of like LeBron says he’s more than an athlete that’s
how I go for it. I love Chicago. I don’t care where I am, I’ll
always represent Chicago. So I’m trying to do things as a brand, as a whole. Like I go over to Africa, I’m opening up a restaurant there. It’s more than just cooking
and showing it off on Instagram. For me it’s like almost a wellness brand, but I want us to come together in wellness, and not just health. – I think one thing that we talked about the car–
– I have to check on these egg rolls.
– Yeah, please, please. I was hearing the sizzling and I’m like, “I hope I’m asking questions burning the food.” – You were, but it’s cool. One thing, you know, we just got done tasting the West Side Bang Noodles and then we’re having egg rolls. Chef Tina, can you talk a little bit about your connection to the Asian-style food and how that came about? In Chicago we have a part called Chinatown, and that was always a big influence on me growing up. Chicago has the best food in the world. Like, because we’re kind of segregated, but everything is here, You can go anywhere and find the best food. Like, there’s no way in the world I can go somewhere else and can’t cook. Like, that would be foolish. They’d be like, you from the suburbs, you’re definitely not from Chicago. It’s great to have you all here because
each of you took Instagram and elevated what you do with with food and music. Can you talk a little bit about how Instagram impacts what you do now? So when when I get those views and those looks and then they get passed on and liked, the direct relationship with the consumer and the customer, that’s what I enjoy most. – You know that we have, like,
our shoes that are coming out, just different collaborations you might doing stuff like that that people aren’t looking at in newspapers or anything like that anymore. It’s all on the Internet. – I’m reaching people over in Africa that I had never even met before That reached out to me like, “Can you come help us? Can you cook for us?” And so it’s been a way for me to reach the world without even going into the world yet. – Like all of us wouldn’t be
here. I definitely met you
through social. And I’m, and I met both of y’all through social media and I’m able to be in chef Tina’s house because of social media.
Speaking of that, I’m smelling what you got cooking over there. Is that, is that almost ready? – Yeah, it’s ready. I’m just waiting on y’all to shut up — shit! Oh! to a,
Yup. – Hmm. When I was growing up, when everybody’s quiet. That mean’s it’s good. – I like the texture of the mac & cheese I think the most.
– That’s nuts. As you can see, it has structure.
It has integrity. Not only that, at the end of the day it has texture and taste. – Ain’t nobody never say my food has integrity. Oh, it does, for sure. The crispiness and then the softness and
the saltiness of the macaroni & cheese. – The Mac and cheese fire, the jerk chicken fire.
– All holding hands and matrimony. Now hold on, I just got the cabbage. It’s a palate cleanser. It kind of gets you, it gets you ready for that Taco.
– Which I’m about to go in, right? – I got one.
– Chef. Oh hell, – Very crispy. All-encompassing. Listen your food kind of makes us kind of smarten up and allows us to–
– IQ food. – That’s what I’m all about.
Brighten up, young man, eat this food. Definitely like an elevated Taco seasoning on just the meat and then, you know, you get pops of the corn and get pops of the bean, and then the avocado kinda kind of set your palate off to where it’s like, “OK I’m, I’m good. I want another bite, though.” – When like a lot of people’s turkey is dry. Like that wasn’t nowhere near dry, like, the crisp from the egg roll being fried was was on point.
It’s good. That’s just fire. The food today has been
– I’m thinking, man, this is like the best day of my life. – This is up there for real,
for real. So everybody at this table is self-made going into business for themselves and making it happen. So what does the American dream mean to everybody at this table? – For me, the American dream is to have
someone to pass on the my kids. The American dream means to get
something, let my kids see that I made it through something and
got that, and they can do the same thing. Then they can go to their friends and show them they can do the same thing. That’s my American dream, it’s
a cycle. You know what I’m saying? – OK, my turn. OK, y’all. I’m back. Classy. The American dream to me is freedom. Pretty much being able to
do what I want, when I want. So it’s not an amount of money it’s being able to really move the way I want to move. – It’s just really about setting
up the next generation. You know? It’s like our parents did certain things so that we will be able to be entrepreneurs. And so I think our jobs right now are to set up our kids to be able to do the same thing, even to a like a, a
bigger capacity. You know what we did. So it’s that and he had just
being able to, you know, provide for yourself and be doing what you actually want to do. – So with that being said, I want to thank each of you at this table for just lending your time today to be in here with me. And before we go, can I get a selfie with everybody? I had a question.
– What’s up?
– Why didn’t nobody bring me no damn noodles? – Oh… – I’m just wondering, cause everybody, y’all tasted his food, but then nobody, that’s, that’s whack as hell. Y’all petty.
– Hold on, why are you saying y’all? We didn’t make the–
– Because y’all ate too! Didn’t nobody say, “maybe we should take Chef Tina something.” – We ate all of them Bang Noodles.
– Be mad at Chase. – I told them to slow down.
– You told us to slow down?
– That’s cool. Ain’t nobody bring me shit… It’s because I’m a woman. – Oh No, come on. Oh No, hold on a second.
– This is a totally different show. – I’m upset. – OK, so look, real quick.
Thank you all for being here. I truly appreciate the time you
took today and before we go, can I get a selfie with everybody?
– Yeah, sure. Let’s take a selfie.