The late Notorious B.I.G. was well-celebrated on the 18th anniversary of his death this past Monday. Big Poppa got a #RIPBig hashtag, a Hot 97 all-Biggie playlist, and warm words spoken by the likes of Diddy, Kendrick Lamar and Faith Evans.
Homage was also paid by Union Square’s All’onda restaurant (NYC). Chefs Dale Talde and Chris Jaeckle prepared their Biggie tribute loosely around the “lunches” and “brunches” that Big spoke of.
Talde and Jaeckle opened their Biggie tribute dinner with spiced tomato soup, inspired by the interlude on debut album, Ready to Die, in which Lil Kim engages in a bit of culinary porn while Big makes love to her. Kim’s string of encouraging words as follows: “You V8 juice drinkin’, SlimFast, blended black greasy m*!”
Next up was succulent jerk crab with lobster toast (inspired by “I Love the Dough”: “Country house, tennis courts on horseback / Riding, deciding cracked crab or lobster”), and a plate of five-carat-size studs of butter-poached escargot in a root puree (“Escargot, my car go 160 swiftly, wreck it buy a new one,” from “Hypnotize” classic).
In recognition of Big’s Jamaican heritage, the chefs prepared a lavishly-flaked, curried oxtail patty, embellished by a tangy ginger relish, followed by steak a la fiorentina with red-wine grape veal jus, – “So we can steam on the way to the telly, go fill my belly / A T-bone steak, cheese eggs and Welch’s grape” (“Big Poppa”).
The grand finale was a smear of G.O.A.T. milk cheesecake drizzled with cola caramel – a spinoff of the famous strawberry cheesecake from Biggie’s old Brooklyn hang, Junior’s.
Preparing the favorite foods of someone who has passed on is a wonderful way to celebrate them.