This London brother– Elijah Quashie, 23, has taken the Internet by storm with his comedic reviews of London’s chicken shops. No doubt eventually, he will be taking his reviews across the UK and the world. The saving grace is that his real name is not George (only people who have watched Roots will get that reference).Many facebook pages have shared his videos or stolen depending on how you see it. Often describing him as a Kid or Schoolboy- when in fact he is 23-years-old. We even describe him as a teen at first. Our bad!
Spending my Thursday night watching a kid review London’s finest chicken shops. All hail the chicken connoisseur 🐔
— Chipper (@TheBurntChip) December 9, 2016
This afternoon, I opened my phone to Facebook and Whatsapp friends sharing or messaging me about the ‘Chicken Connoisseur’. I clicked on the video and was presented with a young man looking very professional standing outside of White Hart Lane- The home to Tottenham Hotspurs; the eternal enemy of every Arsenal fan(like me). He said:
“Here we are outside the deadest team on the planet”
With that one line, I could not hate anything this young man had to say. His actual chicken review was actually pretty in-depth. He provided a review that assessed taste, food texture, food preparations, pricings and rated the shop out of 5. Overall, he spoke like a food reviewer with far more years of finger licking experience. But he still managed to stay real to himself and the London life.
‘”A food critic for mandem who care to know what the finest chicken restaurants in London are and where to find them.”‘
“Man didn’t even have burger source; how can I respect you”
As a fellow presenter, I would say he has a very bright future if this is the career he wants to pursue. However, with more experience comes maturity but also the burden of responsibility. Whether it is weeks, months or years from now he will have to make a decision on whether he wants to be known as the ‘chicken guy’ his whole life, keep adding to an already annoying generalization or move on to more important issues that he could be discussing.
It id hard to ignore just how much these videos are playing into a racial stereotype.
For instance, it was less than a month ago, that we had to speak out against the BBC’s series of uninformed tweets and videos that insinuated that all Black people have an inbred, innate and unusually addiction to chicken. To that we said:
‘First of all Black people in Britain are 3% of the British population. If KFC and those other delicious chicken spots had to survive off the ‘Black pound’ then they would soon go out of business. There are plenty of KFC, Nandos and ‘Chicken Spots’ in areas that aren’t populated by Black people. Moreover, I am yet to meet a White person who isn’t a vegan and hear them say “You know us white people hate friend chicken”. It is illogical and inaccurate to think Black people alone are the reason the chicken population has a fear of frying pans. The only way this discussion could be more offensive is if the BBC were to get David Attenborough to present a documentary called Chicken’s Lives Matter.’
It has to be stated that, Black people are not predisposed to love chicken as Dave Chapelle says. The stereotype of ‘Black people and fried chicken’ is actually more American than British. Even with that said Black Americans also eat a wide variety of foods; much like all Americans.
British Black people are general two sets of culture- Caribbean and African. Both of which have a wide variety of food, cuisines, local delicacies and delicious recipes that reflect the variety and diversity of Black people and the Black diaspora. However, our communities and individual experiences often are generalized and fall victim to an Americanization of the Black experience.
With that said, I like friend chicken. Yeah, I said it! But I like jerk chicken, stewed chicken, curried chicken, Nandos(grilled) chicken and many other ways of preparing and eating chicken. However, I also eat in far more quantity salmon, cod, lamb, curry goat, salt fish fritas, festivals, dumplings, fish and chips, shish kebab, veg, white chocolate Hershey Bars and pretty much the same variety of food that everyone else eats regardless of race(except those rebellious vegans). I should not have to feel like the BBC, social media or anyone else is judging me each time I sit down for dinner.
Therefore, I cannot hate on this news foodie’s work ethic or talent. I just hope that eventually, he will be able to find a more serious presenting role to match his talent. Or if he turns to comedy he becomes the next Dave Chappelle rather than a character in a Tyler Perry Movie.
However, many people in the media agree to roles that go against their moral compasses. I have turned down potential work due to me not being willing to ‘play the game’ and potentially be a pawn in an agenda or adding to a stereotype.
You can follow The Chicken Connoisseur at https://twitter.com/4wings_please
@AntoineSpeakson Tweet me to carry on the discussion or comment below.
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Let us know your thoughts
Do you think he has a bright future?
What is your favourite fast food?
Have you ever turned down a job based on your morals?
Please comment below and share; challenge someone to think a little deeper