B2 High-Intermediate US 211 Folder Collection
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My name is Jon Gray.
They call me "The Dishwasher."
I cofounded Ghetto Gastro,
a Bronx-based collective
that works at the intersection of food, design and art.
We create experiences that challenge people's perceptions of the Bronx,
the place that I call home.
It's a funny thing.
I just touched down in Vancouver from Paris a few days ago.
We took over the Place Vendôme with the Bronx Brasserie.
Oui oui, chérie.
It's wild, because in Paris, they have this saying,
"le Bronx,"
which means something is in disarray or a problem.
That's the Place Vendôme.
We shut it down one time.
This lingo came into play when the Bronx was burning,
and movies like "The Warriors" and "Fort Apache"
still make an impression.
Some may disagree,
but I believe the Bronx was designed to fail.
The power broker was a joker.
Robert Moses, instead of parting the Red Sea,
he parted the Bronx with a six-lane highway
and redlined my community.
My great-grandparents had a home on Featherbed Lane,
and contrary to the name,
they couldn't get a good night's rest
due to the constant blasting and drilling that was necessary
to build the cross-Bronx expressway
a block away.
I consider these policy decisions
design crimes.
Being the resilient people that we are uptown,
out of the systematic oppression
hip-hop culture rose from the rubble and the ashes like a phoenix.
Hip-hop is now a trillion-dollar industry,
but this economic activity doesn't make it back to the Bronx
or communities like it.
Let's take it back to 1986.
I was born in the heart of the AIDS crisis,
the crack epidemic
and the War on Drugs.
The only thing that trickled down from Reaganomics was ghettonomics:
pain, prison and poverty.
I was raised by brilliant, beautiful and accomplished black women.
Even so, my pops wasn't in the picture,
and I couldn't resist the allure of the streets.
Like Biggie said,
you're either slinging crack rock or you got a wicked jump shot.
Don't get it twisted, my jumper was wet.
My shit was wet.
But when I turned 15, I started selling weed,
I didn't finish high school,
the New York Board of Education banned me from all of those,
but I did graduate to selling cocaine when I turned 18.
I did well.
That was until I got jammed up, caught a case, when I was 20.
I was facing 10 years.
I posted bail, signed up at the Fashion Institute,
I applied the skills that I learned in the streets
to start my own fashion brand.
My lawyer peeked my ambition,
so he suggested that the judge grant me a suspended sentence.
For once in my life, a suspension was a good thing.
Over the course of two years and many court dates,
my case got dismissed.
Both of my brothers have done jail time,
so escaping the clutches of the prison industrial system
didn't seem realistic to me.
Right now, one of my brothers is facing 20 years.
My mother put in great effort in taking me out to eat,
making sure we visited museums
and traveled abroad,
basically exposing me to as much culture as she could.
I remembered how as a kid,
I used to take over the dinner table and order food for everybody.
Breaking bread has always allowed me to break the mold
and connect with people.
Me and my homie Les,
we grew up on the same block in the Bronx,
two street dudes.
He happened to be a chef.
We always discussed the possibility of doing something in the food game
for the benefit of our neighborhood.
Les had just won the food show "Chopped."
Our homie Malcolm was gearing up to run a pastry kitchen at Noma,
yeah, world's best Noma in Copenhagen, you know the vibes.
My man P had just finished training in I-I-Italy,
Milano to be exact.
We decided the world needed some Bronx steasoning on it,
so we mobbed up and formed Ghetto Gastro.
While I'm aware our name makes a lot of people uncomfortable,
for us "ghetto" means home.
Similar to the way someone in Mumbai or Nairobi
might use the word "slum,"
it's to locate our people
and to indict the systems of neglect that created these conditions.
So what is Ghetto Gastro?
Ultimately, it's a movement and a philosophy.
We view the work we do as gastrodiplomacy,
using food and finesse
to open borders and connect culture.
Last year in Tokyo,
we did a Caribbean patty,
we do jerk wagyu beef,
shio kombu.
We remixed the Bronx classic with the Japanese elements.
And for Kwanzaa,
we had to pay homage to our Puerto Ricans,
and we did a coconut charcoal cognac coquito. Dímelo!
This here is our Black Power waffle
with some gold leaf syrup.
Make sure you don't slip on the drip.
Here we got the 36 Brix plant-based velato.
Strawberry fields, you know the deal.
Compressed watermelon,
basil seeds,
a little bit of strawberries up there.
Back to the Bronx Brasserie,
you know we had to hit them in the head with that caviar and cornbread.
We also practice du-rag diplomacy.
Because, we don't edit who we are when we do our thing.
Due to our appearance,
we often get mistaken for rappers or athletes.
It happened here last year at TED.
This dude ran down on me
and asked me when I was going to perform.
How about now?
So you see,
we've been bringing the Bronx to the world
but now we focus on bringing the world to the Bronx.
We just opened our spot,
an idea kitchen
where we make and design products,
create content --
and host community events.
The intention is to build financial capital
and creative capital in our hood.
We're also collaborating with world-renowned chef
Massimo Bottura
on a refettorio in the Bronx.
A refettorio is a design-focused soup kitchen and community center.
You see the vibes.
The recent outpouring of grief about the murder
of rapper and entrepreneur Nipsey Hussle
is largely due to the fact that he decided to stay and evolve in place,
rather than leave his hood.
After his death, some may see this decision as foolish,
but I'm making that same decision every day:
to live in the Bronx,
to create in the Bronx,
to invest in the Bronx.
At Ghetto Gastro, we don't run from the word "ghetto,"
and we don't run from the ghetto.
Because at the end of the day,
Ghetto Gastro is about showing you what we already know:
the hood
is good.
Thank you.
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【TED】Jon Gray: The next big thing is coming from the Bronx, again (The next big thing is coming from the Bronx, again | Jon Gray)

211 Folder Collection
林宜悉 published on July 31, 2019
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