The popularity of Trap Kitchen quickly grew among friends and neighbors, as they continued posting on Instagram with customers stopping by the apartment to pick up their orders or via delivery thanks to their friend DJ Kev. Then suddenly, they had their first celebrity client. “Two months in, we caught the attention of somebody that works for Tyrese Gibson, and we got a call from PR team about catering,” says Jenkins. “And it just snowballed from there.” Since then, they’ve cooked and earned praise from the likes of future Coachella headliner Kendrick Lamar to John Legend and Lenny Kravitz at The Roots’ Grammy party, shot an episode of Martha Stewart and Snoop Dogg’s new show, discussed a show of their own with networks, and travelled around the country to cook. They’ve since moved their operations to the Harbour Gateway neighborhood of South LA and now have nearly 24,000 followers on Instagram.
The inspiration for many of Trap Kitchen’s meals -- which are hearty and have that comforting flavor that comes from home cooking -- comes from Jenkins wanting to put his own spin on dishes he’s encountered at restaurants that he’d never had before. One of their most popular (and Instagrammable) options that is The Deadliest Catch -- named for Jenkins’ favorite Discovery Channel show and inspired by a pineapple bowl at a Thai restaurant. It features a carved out pineapple half loaded with lobster, King crab, and shrimp with the option of additional meat, including beef, salmon, or chicken, all on top of rice. He also aims to make the menu -- which focuses on 10 dishes, one featured each day -- more affordable to his customers. He gives the example of their surf and turf, which features shrimp and an option of beef, chicken or salmon and includes lobster garlic mashed potatoes, asparagus, garlic bread, and a soda for $10. “A lot of people don't have the luxury of being able to try that stuff at a steakhouse” he says. “So my idea was to recreate the surf and turf and make it affordable to the streets, so that everybody can have that dining experience.”