Flavor Flav talks chicken, red velvet waffles and Las Vegas restaurant (Exclusive)
Flavor Flav is giving the restaurant business another shot, almost a year after he shut down a chicken eatery, and dished about his new venue in an exclusive interview with OnTheRedCarpet.com.
The Public Enemy rapper and star of the VH1 reality show "Flavor of Love," who is known for his Viking helmet, gold teeth and clock that he wears around his neck, opened a soul food take-out joint called House of Flavor in Las Vegas earlier this month. His signature fried chicken, which boasts a secret combination of spices, is on the menu.
"The spices on the chicken, that's all Flav," the rapper, who celebrated his 53rd birthday on Friday, March 16, told OnTheRedCarpet.com correspondent Tony Cabrera. "And that comes from being in the kitchen, you know, experimenting."
"It took a few years, being in the kitchen by myself, putting whatever I want to on my chicken and one day, I came up with the right hook-up and I said, 'Voila!' It tastes a lot different than everybody else's chicken," he said, naming franchises such as Popeyes and KFC.
"The secret with my chicken is that I season my chicken first and then I send it through unflavored flour and I let the seasons from my chicken, as its frying, season up the flour around the chicken," he said. "So if you were to put the breading off of my chicken, you cannot escape that flavor, baby."
Also on the menu are collard greens, mashed potatoes, coleslaw, macaroni and cheese and a dish he says is "off the hook" - the red velvet waffle.
"I've spoken to some people that ate that red velvet waffle and they said this red velvet waffle is phenomenal," he said.
The rapper, whose real name is William Drayton Jr., grew up in Long Island, New York. His father and mother owned a soul food diner.
"I used to watch my sisters and my mom cook," he said. "I used to go home and I used to mimic them and do my own thing."
Flavor Flav graduated from a culinary art school in 1978 and worked as a cook in several restaurants.
"I wanted to be the first certified cook in the family ," he said. "Back in those days too, cooks were making a lot of money. That's what I set out to do ... Public Enemy, took me away ... and it brought me right back."
"I'm gonna let my kids run my business, once I franchise," he added. He had opened a chicken eatery called Flav's Fried Chicken, or FFC, in Iowa last year. It shut down within months.
"The business wasn't being run right and it was inconsistent," he said.
He said that he plans to open a new FFC branch in Detroit on the third week of April and hopes to expand the franchise across the United States.
The rapper is also planning to continue his music career with a new solo album and a new album with Public Enemy co-rapper Chuck D. Flavor Flav said they have been collecting donations from fans to produce it and have raised $75,000.
Meanwhile, he is concentrating on his Las Vegas restaurant. He plans to decorate it with pieces of memorabilia from his Public Enemy days.
"The Viking helmet I'm not going to bring here," he said. "Somebody might take it."
Reporting by Tony Cabrera, correspondent for KABC Television's entertainment show "On The Red Carpet" (check for local TV listings).