Category Archives: Travel

01Aug/18

ChopBarDC : Dine Diaspora Digs In

Host Jessica and Chef Hiyaw | Photo credit: Chynna Keys (@MadeNChynna)

I love D.C. something serious. This past Sunday, I found my way to Ivy City’s ‘Big Chief’ venue for Dine Diaspora’s ChopBarDC event, featuring cuisine by Chef Hiyaw. Hosted by Travelista and fellow #Baldie Jessica Nabongo, it immediately felt like we were all friends of a mutual friend and had convened to eat good food (and look good while doing so). Afrobeat going, drinks flowing, Afros fro’ing… The vibe was so real. Jessica’s hilariously down to earth commentary lead us through intros, the many ChopBarDC giveaways and a dance-off for best-dressed. Yes, I said dance-off. I’m not sure how much more Diaspora-spirited it could’ve gotten than that. The Winners received pieces that had just been live painted by Dunnie The Artist. I’da danced for that too.

Is it cheesy to say that DJ EarthKwak was trying his hardest to shake things up? Oh well. He definitely succeeded at that. He took our food happy and drink buzzed bodies from West Africa through the Caribbean and then back to the Dirty South. We Gawra Gawra’d, Swag Surf’d, Palance’d and hit mean Slides (the electric variety of course). Yawl. We had a blast.

So. Although everyone clearly came to party, it was really about the food. From my understanding, Chef Hiyaw managed to achieve the impossible task of combining West African and East African flavors. Highlights of the party truly were the ever-flowing, belly-joy inducing chops that I couldn’t stuff my vegetarian face with. I thought SO hard on my dietary standings each time someone serving passed by with a tray. Temptation was everywhere. However, just when I thought I’d cave: Veggies and Injera. Oh my soul. Salvation. Sweet, savory, tangy, delicious salvation.

I had sweat quite a bit by then thanks to the crowd and the DJ, but I still needed a little something to soak up all the…

Chef Hiyaw’s ‘Gorsha’, A Spicy Red Lentil Injera. Photo Credit: Chynna Keys (@MadeNChynna)

Dranks! Photo Credit: Chynna Keys (@MadeNChynna)

First of all, you get a drink ticket upon entrance. Now, I knew it was a part of the ticket price, but that didn’t make them putting it into my hand any less magical. Then I got to the bar and actually SAW the themed drink menu. Straight up Gryffindor level work. I went straight for the African Sunrise and stayed there for the following… however many I ended up buying. I’ve never been a fan of Tequila but… ChopBarDC did it for me.

Can’t forget about the marketplace! Vendors like JoonAfrica with their beautiful selected home goods alongside Neek & Nan’s flavor-packed hand-made spices. They lay in wait on the rooftop, glittering in the Sun, beckoning my wallet. ChopBarDC definitely tried to set me up! Little did I know that each had gifted an item to the GARGANTUAN giveaway bags. One of which I’m sure I totally almost won. Next time, aye? Dine Diaspora even gave away a case of selected African spirits. Big name sponsors like Bai beverages gave out their drinks and hand fans while Ethiopian Airlines gave away a flight. All of us at ChopBarDC were kept super cool and super fly.

DineDiaspora clearly wants all of us to #LevelUp. See you at the next event!

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“The Best Adventure You Can Live is the Life of Your Dreams”

Host Jessica and Dunnie The Artist
Photo credit: Chynna Keys (@MadeNChynna)

Best-dressed Contest Winners
Photo Credit: Chynna Keys (@MadeNChynna)

Partay Peepo!
Photo Credit: Chynna Keys (@MadeNChynna)

Partay Peepo!
Photo Credit: Chynna Keys (@MadeNChynna)

Chef Hiyaw’s ‘Gold Coast’ Berbere Grilled Prawns.
Photo Credit: Chynna Keys (@MadeNChynna)

Chef Hiyaw’s ‘Eh Eh’ Chicken Suya.
Photo Credit: Chynna Keys (@MadeNChynna)

Chef Hiyaw’s ‘Got Beef’, 48 hr marinated Short-Rib.
Photo Credit: Chynna Keys (@MadeNChynna)

Dranks!
Photo Credit: Chynna Keys (@MadeNChynna)

 

Bai came to party! Photo Credit: Chynna Keys (@MadeNChynna)

07Oct/17
NY to Paradise

NY to Paradise Podcast is Inspiring Entrepreneurs

Business owner, Coretta Ryan shares her podcast series titled, NY to Paradise: Creating Your Own Success. Launched August 31st, the monthly audio series highlights various entrepreneurs from around the world who haven’t been afraid to reshape their daily experiences by taking risks, staying true to their personal stories and living their lives intentionally.

NY to ParadiseThe show was created and co-produced by Coretta Ryan to be used as a tool to motivate aspiring and fellow entrepreneurs in their journey. The idea behind the concept is in finding out the “WHY”. The reasons behind why entrepreneurs may create businesses or the source of the passion they have for their work. Coretta says “I wanted to share the process, the thinking behind what shapes the ideas that develop into businesses.”

NY to Paradise can be found onlinePodbeanSoundcloudApple Podcasts and across social media at @crprllc with the hashtag #nytoparadise.