You know, the funny thing about the food company Vicious Creole Cycle is that I started it without giving the public full detail on how and why it came to be. So many times when a Chef creates a new project, his story sometimes gets loss do to his or hers limited schedule. Well that stops here. I figure hey, if chef René Redzepi (owner of Noma) can give a brief summary of why he chooses to cook Fried Reindeer moss (which I heard is delicious) then I should be able to provide some sort of description, right? I know. That’s a crappy comparison but work with me, please.
So while visiting Dark Matter Coffee café (one of my favorite coffee shops) I stumbled across an awesome screen print they were selling made by Phineas X. Jones (who is an unbelievably good designer )
The idea of Vicious Creole Cycle was a playful way of me going against some of the menu items that inundate food festivals. I wanted to get away from the standard Fried dough, fire roasted corn and meat based and or cheese based fast food which is delicious but may way you down as the day progresses. And its especially not a good thing when your’re carrying a kid or baby around looking for the next good food booth. I wanted something that adults could enjoy and kids could also nibble on. I also did not want to reduce the size of a food item and call it a kiddie version (I’ve always found this to be insulting to children). I wanted to make a sandwich so tasty and delicious that Mommy gets irate when little Timmy ask her for yet another bite of her sandwich until she breaks down and yells out (with food still in her mouth) “Get your own sandwich!!” Timmy, undefeated is forced to walk back to my booth and order another sandwich and I am happy to serve him because Timmy and I both know that his mother has anger issues, but I digress.
Vicious Creole cycle was my playground where the name sounds playful and niche like but I get to do some very traditional things which allows me to keep the quality that I want.
While visiting Dark Matter Coffee café (one of my favorite coffee shops) in Chicago, I stumbled across an awesome screen printed sweat-shirt on sale there made by Phineas X. Jones (who is an unbelievably good designer ). I talked to some people who knew some people at Lucky Print (Awesome Printing facility) and half Acre Brewery and finally caught of up with Phineas. Phineas was a pleasure to work with and was great at pulling ideas out of me. I loved his style of work and I was also intrigued being that I’ve always been into underground, contemporary art, and great graphic design . I felt that his art had an edge to it, was passionate, playful and spoke volumes. It was exactly the kind of work that I liked. His process allowed me to let loose, be free and as silly as I wanted which was a perfect reflection of what I wanted to do with Vicious Creole Cycle. I wanted something silly and up front but behind the scene there would be a very serious method to the madness. You can find more about about Phineas at the following link http://octophant.us/
Since my Family is originally from New Orleans he did a number of owl sketches which were cool ideas.
Also we went into the more Gothic and metal scheme of things
We finally settle on something he felt was a little silly, but it amused him. A crawfish who ended up in someone’s etouffee and is happily on his way to heaven playing zydeco accordion in place of a harp.
It was perfect!
Vicious Creole cycle was my playground to be silly and move away from traditional corporate branding. I wanted the name to sound completely ridiculous that has almost a sort of niche feel to it. The name in itself usually intrigues people or throws them off. Mostly the name is odd enough to keep public curiosity going. You don’t know what you’re going to get but you know that it’s probably going to be pretty good, interesting and Creole New Orleans themed. It helps the imagination. My goal is that customers expectations are exceeded because they get much more than they expected! Which luckily has been my experience which always puts a smile to my face.
Behind the scenes I get to do some very traditional things when it comes to sourcing, working with farmers, baker’s fishermen and preparation. It also gives me a chance to reflect my Creole / Cajun roots, let loose and use my formal restaurant and fish market experience to create some complex dishes but in an approachable way. Most of my hot sauces are fermented in-house and my Aioli’s were made from scratch. I wanted to only get my Jumbo 6″ or bigger Oysters from Maine and they needed a clean finish in salty cold water. This makes the meat more plump and Juicy. At the time (and still) only a few chefs are using them in New York city so getting them delivered was not an easy task. During Soft Shell Crab season I dressed (prepped) all live crabs. All of my shrimps are Jumbo and wild from the pacific and are NOT packed with antibiotics or salt. Doing all of this allows me to keep the quality that I want.
The great thing about this is the food speaks for itself and once you taste it you get a sense that something different is going on and I think that’s the most important thing. Another plus side. Most of my products are raised and produced in a sustainable way which is something that I’m allowed to do with this company. And I think that more and more customers will be looking for that sort of thing in the future.
Shameless plug. And Yes, if the stars align I plan on Selling Iced Dark Matter coffee in this summer. Preferably Unicorn Blood. Dark Matter guys. Please hold me to this. I love your coffee that much.