Episode 003 - Tarik Abdullah: Feed the People. Teach the Kids.
Tarik Abdullah, aka Chef Tarik, found his purpose at a young age, "Feed the People. Teach the Kids." This lead Tarik to learn his craft everywhere from the restaurant kitchens of Seattle to the poorest neighborhoods in L.A. His love for food ran just as deep as his love for kids, and Tarik found a way to bring children into his own learning process, effectively passing on his knowledge of food and cooking to the next generation while he was learning.
Underneath Tarik's vocation as a chef is a deep passion, drive, and heart for creating authentic community. It's not surprising when you hear about his upbringing in Seattle's Central District where he experienced a rich, black cultural community, a deep Muslim faith tradition, and a diverse neighborhood that introduced him to foods from all over the globe and taught him the importance of saying "hello" to people on the street.
Following his passion lead Tarik into the limelight. He starred in ABC's The Taste, a reality TV show where chef's compete with each other while being mentored by a celebrity chef. Tarik was chosen by none other than Anthony Bourdain as his mentor. He went on to host another TV show from Vice, called Munchies, and also had a stint as Kanye West's personal chef.
But the limelight isn't at the heart of who Tarik is or why he does what he does. Tarik has a rare gift for seeing beyond color lines, ethnic borders, and gentrifying neighborhoods into a place of authentic community where anyone and everyone is welcomed and celebrated.
This vision for community is manifesting in The Black and Tan Hall, Tarik's latest venture. It's a performances venue, gathering space, restaurant, and lounge all wrapped up into one beautiful opportunity for anyone who's interested and inspired to participate as an owner. Tarik and his partners have designed the Black and Tan Hall as a co-op, a shared-ownership model among people who buy in and participate. The board approves ownership requests and offers a range of ways to buy in, sometimes even with no money at all. Regardless of cash, all owners are required to participate at some level to support the endeavor, whether it's serving drinks or fixing the toilet.
Just like Tarik himself, the vision is beautifully inclusive and inspiring.