The popularity of NFTs (or non-fungible tokens) has skyrocketed over the past year. Essentially, NFTs digitally represent ownership of a unique virtual item, and the craze has touched all corners of culture, from high-end artwork to an Elon Musk tweet to the culinary world.
Stella Artois and the James Beard Foundation have teamed to start selling food-centric NFTs through a series they call the Chef’s Special NFT Collection, starting with the recipe for chef Marcus Samuelsson’s famed fried yardbird, a cornerstone of the menu at his Red Rooster restaurant in New York City.
Supported by Christie’s auction house, the series benefits the James Beard Foundation’s Food and Beverage Investment Fund for Black and Indigenous Americans. The foundation’s mission is to celebrate and support restaurant employees within these marginalized communities. “Fried yardbird is not only one of our most popular dishes, but the recipe we get asked for all the time,” Samuelsson said in a statement shared with Wine Spectator. “Now, in a whole new NFT world for restaurants, we can share it and, thanks to the generosity of Stella Artois, meaningfully support the James Beard Foundation’s Food and Beverage Investment Fund for Black and Indigenous Americans.”
The NFT for the recipe sold for $3,328 when bidding closed July 16 on fundraising platform Charitybuzz.com. It was part of a prize package that included a video of Samuelsson sharing tips and tricks for perfecting the recipe. The top bidder also won a real-life experience as part of the package, in the form of a private dinner for four at Red Rooster with a personal appearance from Samuelsson.
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