Malachai Jenkins and Roberto Smith at one point would’ve never saw eye-to-eye. Both LA natives pledged their allegiance to rival gang members, Jenkins a Crip and Smith a member of the Bloods. But after years of gang banging, Jenkins grew tired of the dangerous life.
“All money isn’t good money, Jenkins said. “[Selling drugs] worked for me for a little while until it started to get me into trouble, so I had to find something legit to do.”
A mutual friend introduced Jenkins to Smith and the two became fast comrades. Jenkins then enrolled in the famed culinary school Le Cordon Bleu, and from there things began to change. Upon finishing his courses, Jenkins, who also goes by the name Chef Spanky, began cooking meals and posting the finishing product on Instagram. Soon, people started placing orders and slowly, their catering business Trap Kitchen LA was birthed.
“The gang stuff, the shootings, now that I’m in this kitchen, I don’t go through none of that,” Smith said.
The way it works is Jenkins puts the daily menu on Instagram and people then place their orders. The men make everything from the simple yet comforting chicken and waffle,s to the popular and more decadent $25 Pineapple Friday dish which is made up of King Crab, lobster, jumbo shrimp and salmon over white rice covered in Teriyaki Sriracha sesame seeds and green onions placed inside an actual pineapple. Whatever your stomach desires, the gentlemen of Trap Kitchen LA will serve you.
“You can make the same amount of money selling drugs, selling food,” Jenkins said.
Massive respect to these young men.