“God gave you hands. You a chef. Chef up that boysenberry creme brulee, man.” — “20 Karat Jesus” Freddie Gibbs, 2017
What do Guy Fieri, Anthony Bourdain, and Bobby Flay have in common? They’re all old white guys cooking up mouth-savoring meals on television. But a new generation of fresh young talent may be on the horizon. The movement is called “culinary trapping” and it’s gathering heat all over the country.
Hugo Jamieson had no idea an innocuous tweet sent out one summer’s night was going to turn him into a viral cooking star. The 26-year-old posted a collage of a few meals he cooked up, along with the caption, “I quit my job as a dope boy to become a recreational home cook… a simple RT can go a long way, so I don’t [recidivate].” The tweet amassed over 40,000 retweets.
I contacted Jamieson to get more information and to make sure he was legit (since apparently Twitter is filled with Russian trolls). “Is this dude deadass?,” I wondered before sliding into his DMs with hopes for a reply. As I soon found out, the self-taught chef was about as serious about his game as Gordon Ramsay is about Beef Wellington.
“It started around 2015,” Jamieson told me during an on-the-record phone conversation. “I still had all my drug paraphernalia that I kept, basically. Scales, measuring cups, etc.”
After a stint in jail, Jamieson came home disappointed by his Colorado town’s food options and began cooking for himself. Soon, it started to get boring. The would-be chef wanted to branch out — he started craving for more than the basic, ordinary meals he was prepping for himself. How many times can a guy eat spaghetti and meatballs before wanting more?
“I just started reading food blogs and watching TV cooking shows. And it got to the point where I started going to the grocery store and started seeing all this stuff that I’ve never cooked with before.”
No more boring ass meals for the amateur chef. Jamieson was now upgrading from fried tilapia to dishes like ribeye steak with “parmesan golden potato mash, roasted lemon asparagus” and “Marble score 9 Australian Wagyu pitas.” He also started sharing it all on social media. But what really hooked fans was his meal prepping — like he was chilling at the trap house.
“I started weighing it and stuff like that and started filming videos,” Jamieson says. “It got to a point where it had a real dope boy vibe to it. So we called it ‘Culinary Trapping.'”