New York rapper Action Bronson is a 130-kilogram mountain of self-belief. Whether he’s freestyling onstage or fronting his Viceland TV food series, Fuck, That’s Delicious, he always rolls with irrepressible swagger. Here’s how to walk the Bronson walk.
1\ STAND THE HEAT
Before hip-hop, Bronson worked as a chef for 10 years. Crazy hours and constant stress were an inescapable part of the gig. But they taught Bronson not to crumble under pressure.
“It can get crazy in the kitchen,” he recalls. “People can start throwing shit and cursing you. But whatever happens you have to keep cool and weather the storm. Working in the kitchen taught me how to persevere.”
That stint in a chef’s hat also fostered the professional attributes that Bronson continues to live by. “Number one: you got to have a great work ethic. Number two: you have to be punctual – life does not wait for you. I’m still always on time. People like it.”
2\ WIN THE CROWD
Stepping onstage is a true sink-or-swim moment. As soon as he walks out, Bronson must forge an instant connection with the crowd. His tactic: fake it ’til you make it.
“I was shy when I was younger,” Bronson admits. “But I always feel the best way to connect with someone is to exude the same confidence that they expect from you.”
To avoid getting thrown by the crowd’s reaction, Bronson focuses on the one thing he can control – his own performance. “Some of my best shows – when I’ve hit every single word – have been in front of dud crowds when I’ve won them over with my sheer enthusiasm.”
3\ BUILD YOUR TEAM
Fuck, That’s Delicious, follows Bronson’s culinary adventures on his world tour. “It’s completely unscripted,” Bronson says “You just have to go with the flow.”
There’s no safety net when you’re improvising on the hoof. So how does Bronson keep his cool with a film-crew shadowing his every move?
You gain self-assurance, he explains, by surrounding yourself with people you trust. Assembling a strong back-up team always boosts your chances of success. “You got to have your guys, your clique, your crew,” Bronson says. “The guys you see with me on the show– we’ve been friends for a long, long time.”
And make sure you trust your video editor, too. “You should see the things that don’t make it to camera,” Bronson says. “Do you know how many wild underground German sex parties I’ve been to? I can’t even count.”
BUILD A BETTER SANDWICH
Your sandwich architecture can take your lunch to the next level. According to Action Bronson, the secret to a good sanger is to think of it in terms of four distinct but complementary layers. “When they all adhere together it’s a fucking symphony.”
1. “You’ve got to start with amazing bread.” Consider three variables: durability, texture and flavour. Sandwiches with a lot of sauce need a roll with a solid crust to maintain structure.
2. “Lather the bread with some sort of binding agent – I’m talking flavoured mayonnaise, mustard or sauce. Something spreadable.” Need fresh inspiration for your binding agent? Try pesto, hummus, avocado or Greek yoghurt.
3. “Select your choice of flesh, whether it’s a burger, fried chicken or a charred-up piece of steak.” If you’re after a healthy option you can’t go past turkey. Each slice packs 6 grams of protein and only 130-odd kilojoules.
4. “Finally, choose the right accoutrements – meaning what you’re going to top the motherfucker with. Think pickled jalapenos, tomatoes, lettuce...” Be open-minded: if it can go in a salad, it can go in a sandwich.
Action Bronson is the host of SBS VICELAND's Fuck, That's Delicious. Watch the series at sbs.com.au/ondemand