Flavor Flav has appeared on some of hip-hop's seminal albums, become synonymous with a catchphrase, and refashioned himself into a reality-TV star. But did you know he "has a culinary degree and restaurant experience"? He really does! And the rapper born William Jonathan Drayton, Jr. opened up his first in what is supposed to become a chain of chicken joints today in an unlikely location: Clinton, Iowa.
"I don't want to be known to just have a spot," Flav told a group of reporters in an amazing interview on the scene at Flav's Fried Chicken captured by Hip-Hop Wired. "You're going to catch me in here seasoning up my chicken, flouring up my chicken, frying up my chicken -- and not only that, but coming out here and serving my chicken to people."
Flav told the crowd his family used to run a restaurant called the Soul Diner on Long Island when he was a kid, and he learned to work the stove watching his mom and sisters in the kitchen. "I did go to cooking school in 1978 and I got a degree in chefing," he revealed. In the late '70s and early '80s, you could have even caught a glimpse of Brigitte Nielsen's ex-boyfriend on the job: "I used to be the head cook over at the Nassau County courthouse in Long Island, and I used to be the head cook at Uniondale High School."
In those days, Flav mostly did "institutional cooking, making pans of Fettuccine Alfredo and rice pilaf for 400 people at a time." But he was also developing his signature fried chicken seasoning, which he now describes (only somewhat convincingly) as "a taste that really nobody else has too much." Actually, Flav revealed his real secret -- "I season my meat first. So that way when you bite into my chicken, you get the double taste of the seasoning" -- and explained its scientific effects on your mouth: "It'll blow up your tastebuds, man. You really have fireworks going on in there."
In addition to macaroni and cheese and greens, Flav promises his new spot will have ribs (added to the menu by Nick Cimino, who is helping run the business) and, "We got all the sides for all the rides." The real question now is will FFC be able to lure regulars away from the KFC located right next door. Fortunately for Flav, Jay-Z's new chicken investment, Buffalo Boss, is wings-focused and located 930 miles away.
[Photo: Zak Kaczmarek/WI/WireImage.com]