Is there a more potent pop culture force in the food world right now than Action Bronson, the 300-pound Albanian Jewish rapper with the swagger of Ghostface Killah and the refined palate of Ruth Reichl? Not since Anthony Bourdain has the general public taken so much interest in watching a single man devour food.
Riding an increasing wave of popularity, the Queens native and former professional cook now has his own show on VICE aptly titled Fuck, That’s Delicious, where foie gras, hoagies, and dabs (cannabis concentrates) are all treated with the same deference. For pure fun, Action is your man. While he may not have the esteem of tenured food critics writing for national publications, he cuts to the chase about what’s important: Does it taste good? Whatever the verdict may be, you’re apt to believe him wholeheartedly.
Here’s why Action is one of the most entertaining figureheads in the game:
1. Action is the Ferran Adrià of Food References in Rap
No one has been as playful, or as focused, at weaving food into song: “I know your hair’s soft / You’re on the menu like the lamb broth”; “Aim at your apple with the archery / Chef with the tweezers place the parsley for me”; “We blow cheddar, au four feta”; “Let the beat thump / Never fuckin’ with the crab that’s pre-lump”
2. Manners Are a Must
Only a gentleman and a scholar knows how to properly dine at Marea and avoid soiling his beard.
3. He Reps the Outer Boroughs, But Also Loves Flavortown
Like the rest of us, Action has a love-hate relationship with Guy Fieri, proving he is a man of the people. “I love his style: the wrist band on the forearm, all the different silver jewelry. The man has frosted tips in 2014. He’s underrated for sure.”
4. A Fan of the Cutting Edge
On Instagram, he posted pictures of his 24-course meal at René Redzepi’s NOMA. Commentary was sparse; he let the food do the talking.
5. He Throws Down
Handmade gnocchi and lamb burgers are par for the course. The guy can flat out cook.
Sure, the man loves meat and seafood, but he can appreciate a good juice cleanse.
7. No Item Left Behind
What makes Action a trustworthy critic? His ability to eat through a menu. At Hot Doug’s in Chicago, every frank is fair game.
8. Technique Matters
Here are a couple of hints: If you want to savor your meal to the fullest, make sure to waft and have a g-pen on hand.
Photo Credits: Action Bronson / VICE, Action Bronson / Alexander Richter for Bon Appétit, Action Bronson at Marea / In Flex We Trust, Action Bronson as Guy Fieri / VICE, Action Bronson / Instagram, Action Bronson cooking / VICE, Kale, Pear & Orange Smoothie / Marin Mama Cooks, Hot Doug’s spread / Barstool Sports Chicago, Action Bronson / VICE
Justin Bolois is a writer living in Los Angeles. Follow him on Twitter @JustinBolois.