Many great recipes rely on the addition of simple ingredients: salt and pepper. Now, these two seasoning are standing front and center in a new series.
Rap icons “Salt” (Cheryl James) and “Pepa” (Sandra Denton) are launching Cookin’ with Salt-N- Pepa set to premiere on The Cooking Channel on Thursday.
While we fondly remember the rap duo, along with their bandmate “Spinderella” (Deidra Roper), for their memorable, asymmetrical haircuts and chart-topping records, Hip-hop heads more familiar with their flow will now get acquainted with their individual palates to the world.
The premise of the show is that the ladies will tour some of the group’s favorite spots across the country, kicking it with the chefs as they divulge the secrets to their cuisines and hearing Salt-N-Pepa’s perspective on what makes the food spectacular.
"Everything about us is about the Ying and the Yang. That's what we bring to table. I'm Jamaican so I’m into spicy flavors, and she's into comforting soul food. That is going to be interesting,” explainsDenton.
From turkey meatloaf burgers to pulled pork macaroni cheese, Salt-N-Pepa are creating episodes that pull in the viewers, tantalize their taste buds and encourage them to place some new diners on their bucket list.
"Food is life,” James insists. “Everything, for us, surrounds food. No matter where we go, we have a meeting over food."
The group’s passion for delicious cuisine is only equaled by their passion for family and performing. It’s a refreshing departure from the usual fate of “girl groups” or music collectives in general. Salt-N-Pepa boast a friendship and working relationship that has spanned 30 years.
So how did they keep their bond intact, especially after achieving platinum status on their albums, having their own TV shows, dealing with marriage and divorce and pursuing their own endeavors?
James explains it simply: “We've always been authentic and who we are. And that's what works for us. It's what keeps us organic."
But don’t get it confused. This new foodie gig and friendship aren’t all the pair are working on together.
"We have a new version of our old school jackets!” Denton exclaims of the signature leather bombers emblazoned with graffiti and each of their names. “Our jackets are like more famous than us! We bought fun, fashion and feminism to our style and we want to bring the back out.”
Another thing they want to bring out: the upcoming generation of female rap queens. These icons haven’t forgotten how important solidarity is to continuing to see fem-cees on the mic. They will celebrate their own milestone (30 years strong in the industry) at the upcoming Grammy award ceremony.
“We try to be grown women, pioneers almost– like ‘aunties’ of this industry,” James tells us. “We need to unify, come together as female artists. This is a misogynistic industry. It's hard enough for us. It's not a good message for us as women to be a nasty towards each other. We need to have each other's back.”
In order to unify as women, the group says that women, as individuals, need to exert their confidence with more class and depth. It’s definitely okay to be assertive and play with the “big boys”, but it’s equally as important for women not to lose themselves or get caught up in the expectations and demands of the people they let into their lives.
Be empowered as a female, as a woman,” Denton adds. “Don't apologize. Don’t lose yourself in another person's life. Don't take it all so seriously because this (life) is really a fun experience. We need to say to ourselves ‘I'm talented, loved, worthy and valued.’”