I Create Birmingham: Roscoe Hall & Wil Drake

Names: Roscoe Hall and Wil Drake
Occupation: Chef
Creative Industry: Culinary

1. What does Creative Birmingham mean to you?
Roscoe: To me, Creative Birmingham means having a community of creatives who will help each other teach/express ideas through creative outlets.
Wil: Creative Birmingham is a push for Birmingham’s creatives and artists to connect with other local businesses to help grow our city

2. What made you decide to do what you do in Birmingham?
I moved back to Birmingham about 3 years ago after being gone for 13 years. I decided to come back simply because there were job opportunities.
Wil: Honestly, I needed to pay bills. I was in a touring band that was on hiatus and I needed to find extra work. The thing I loved almost as much as music was cooking. So, I started working in restaurants and submerged myself in the food scene.

3. What would you like to see happen in Birmingham over the next 5 years?
: I would like to see a solid crew of creatives making the city progress to the potential it really has.
Wil: I hope we can stop being so nervous about competitors and new businesses. You can’t expect to be the only coffee shop, butcher shop, or hair salon in the city. Competition is good. It makes us better. It should pull us together, not push us away from each other.

4. What is Knife Party and why is it so secretive?
Knife party is a supper club for those who like to eat and enjoy a take on deconstructed recipes of old. We use fresh/local/not local/sometimes frozen ingredients. It’s secretive because it’s not legal.

5. Do you have a guilty pleasure food?
Roscoe: Guilty pleasure for me is Applebees.
Wil: Hot Krispy Kreme’s all day and every day and a Milo’s double burger all the way

6. Roscoe, you are involved with Jones Valley Teaching Farm. What does that entail?
Jones Valley Teaching Farm is great. I have had the opportunity to blend both my passions for art and food for the first time in my career with JVTF. They really open the eyes of the youth to a new perspective of living. Conceptually what they are doing is pure creativity within education.

Punk as Food for Kids was a concept that was prompted by a project that photographer Rob Culpepper and I started a year ago. It was like a “Jackass” version of say, Bon Appetit or one of the many local/global food magazines. Jones Valley challenged me to teach kids the concept of using visual art to promote a lifestyle, show history, and show who you are. It was awesome.

7. Wil, you went to Ireland to hone your craft, what all did you learn?
I learned from a bunch of butchers how to break down whole animals. I literally got to see the process of food going from farm to table. The care that went into these animals was life changing. I also got to teach them how to make some good ol’ southern BBQ sandwiches!

8. Who are your culinary super heroes?
Roscoe: Culinary super heroes…hmm, that’s such a hard question. Trotter, Brock, Pepin, Chang, Spicer, love some Roy Choi, and really anyone I cook with who shares the same passion for salt and pepper.
Wil: Jamie Oliver, Ferran Adria, Hervé This, and my Gramma

Photo by Wes Frazer.