in partnership
Trap Kitchen will be blessing Seattle with their delicious eats this Friday, November 18th at 7p in the 1927 Event Space in Belltown. (Image: Nisa Ahmad)

Get a taste of Compton soul this weekend

Now here's a real-life example of turning lemons into lemonade for you.

Malachi ‘Spank’ Jenkins and Roberto ‘News’ Smith changed the direction of their lives when they decided to leave the gang life behind and open up their own food business. While it may seem like an unlikely transition to some, their business acumen for hustling proved to be just what was needed for the venture. Spank and News used their talent in the kitchen to create Trap Kitchen, the hottest culinary addition to Compton. They haven’t looked back since.

So, why are we telling you about the amazing food in Compton when we’re all the way in Seattle? Saturday night Trap Kitchen hosted their first pop-up in the Pacific Northwest, blessing Seattle with their delicious eats, all for a great cause.

“We’re glad to be in Seattle. We flew in on Thursday and worked hard to get everything together. We saw people making their way through the line, sometimes getting third, fourth and fifth helpings of food,” Jenkins said, addressing the room.

As the new kid on the culinary block, Trap Kitchen features a daily "chef's choice" menu chock full of favorites like fried chicken and waffles, king crab jambalaya, and shrimp mac n’ cheese. The delicious meals quickly won over Los Angelenos, taking the title as Compton's culinary bae.

Attendees of the Seattle pop-up dined on Trap Kitchen’s menu of braised beef pot roast, garlic mashed potatoes and gravy, mac n cheese, candied yams and braised greens. There were also dishes from local chefs Edourado Jordan of Salare restaurant in Ravenna (chicken wings with strained yogurt and sunchoke chips), Donna Moodie of Marjorie restaurant in Capitol Hill (Miss Marjorie’s steel drum plantain chips with roasted pineapple guacamole), Lindsey Hayter of Bar Harbor in South Lake Union (Dungeness Crab stuffed Devil Eggs), Tarik Abdullah of Black and Tan Hall in Rainier Valley (Lamb Kibbeh, Urfa Biber Tomato jam, and pickled onion), and Chef Jermaine Miller (Chicken Creole with Steamed Rice). The event will also feature musical guests Tiffany Wilson, Cool Nutz and MC Beezie 2000.

Tickets were $65 each and 100 percent of the proceeds are being donated to the Black Prisoners' Caucus T.E.A.C.H. Program, a college program focused on increasing the availability of liberal arts and natural science programs for incarcerated men.

“All of the money donated tonight is going to that cause, to continuing our efforts so the men who are in there (prison), are prepared to come back and do some of the positive things we’re doing right now, today.” said BPC representative Willard C. Jimerson Jr., who was also a participant in the program.

With Thanksgiving just days away, Trap Kitchen wanted to leave everyone with this sage advice: “Leave the cooking to people who know what they’re doing.” Jenkins laughed.