Thousands of readers voted in our Best of the Bay 2023 Readers Poll, honoring dozens of wonderful local businesses and cultural forces. Now it’s our editors’ and writers’ turn to highlight specific people and places we’ve been loving about the Bay Area. Join us to celebrate Best of the Bay and more at our 10th Annual 48 Hills Gala at Bissap Baobab on 10/26, and help keep this 49-year-old tradition alive.
The best locally made cooking series we have seen this year comes from an internationally acclaimed rap artist who’s gone from dropping bars to chopping scallions. Lyrics Born (Tom Shimura) has been a definitive part of Bay Area hip-hop since the ‘90s as both a solo artist who now has seven albums under his belt and as one half of Latyryx with Lateef the Truthspeaker, who dropped two albums. Early in the pandemic, he started a casual video recipe series called Dinner in Place. Now, the YouTube show is in its fourth season and has a full kitchen and production crew. Hopefully, it will poise Lyrics Born to get an awesome, Bourdain-style food and travel series, which he would rock like a mic.
Highlights of the current Dinner in Place season reflect his Japanese, Italian, and Jewish heritage and include a Japanese Convenience Store Style 3x Egg Salad Sandwich, a collaboration with chef Chris Cosentino with yuzu, ikura, duck egg, chicken egg, and crispy chicken skin; Sinigang Ramen, a Japanese-Filipino creation with Señor Sisig chef Gil Payumo and hip-hop food personality JL Jupiter; Locrio Japonese, a Dominican-Japanese take on fried rice with chef Nelson German of Oakland’s alaMar Dominican Kitchen and Judon, a Japanese-style udon noodle soup with an addition of Jewish matzo balls.
Dinner in Place would be right at home if it was picked up by the Food Network or a big streamer—but we wouldn’t blame him if he preserved the ethos of Bay Area hip-hop in this project by keeping it independent. And, should he decide to expand his imagination to retail food products, there’s no doubt that Lyrics Born could have some more hot releases on his hands.