Twin Sisters Dynasty and Soull Ogun’s Ideal Day in Brooklyn Revolves Around Caribbean Food
"Whenever we’re having meetings, we like to take them in Flatbush because we like for people to see where our upbringing is."
By Laura Sanchez and Dynasty and Soull Ogun
Published on 7/28/2022 at 2:00 PM
Dynasty and Soull Ogun | Photo by Ibeji Love
Identical twin sisters Dynasty and Soull Ogun are the creative force behind the fashion label L’Enchanteur. The duo have a background in textiles and metalsmithing, which they combine to create the iconographic jewelry and multicultural ready-to-wear designs. L’Enchanteur generated buzz for their jewelry and accessories when they made a cameo in Beyoncé’s “Black Is King” visual album. Their work pays homage to their Dominican and Nigerian roots.
We grew up in Flatbush, and our father still lives in Flatbush in the same apartment we grew up in. So we're always in Flatbush anyway, so Flatbush tends to be where we go to get food and a lot of nostalgic things. And whenever we’re having meetings, we like to take them in Flatbush because we like for people to see where our upbringing is or has been because that's the genesis of our story.
One of the things Dynasty and I do to get the day started is send morning texts of gratitude and affirmations to one another. And then I do a 30-minute to two-hour-long meditation. The earlier I get up, the more I can get into this meditative state. And that's something that is part of my morning ritual that is constant or as constant as it can be because it definitely helps throughout the day.
"When you go into a Caribbean spot, you're gonna see a lot of different flags. You may not know what kind of restaurant you're actually in. You may not know whether you're in a Guyanese, Trini, or a Haitian restaurant on just entering the space because they dig each other a lot, which I like. "
Then we typically do a light breakfast—first two glasses of water to get the organs working (never coffee), and sometimes tea and fruit. But if we’re out, we like to go to a spot called Natural Blend. They serve one of the typical Caribbean breakfasts, which includes ackee and saltfish. That comes with spelt dumplings, white and yellow yams, and plantain. Usually the plantain is a little under ripe because it's boiled and not fried. Or we get breadfruit with it, which I've really started eating a lot of since I came back from the Caribbean earlier this year. And it's fairly healthy because instead of eating eggs and bacon, ackee provides a texture that looks like scrambled eggs. It usually comes with a side of saltfish, or sometimes they call it a catfish or whatnot. That's definitely my go-to for sure, because it costs anywhere between $1 and $2. You just get like, three or four of them.
There’s another spot, A&C Guyana and Trinidad Roti House, by my tailors. I usually go there for doubles. [Doubles is a sandwich made from curried chickpeas tucked between two pieces of fried flatbread and dressed in tamarind and coriander sauces and various chutneys. It's a popular street food originating in Trinidad and Tobago that is most commonly eaten during breakfast.] It's like jollof rice, like the beef between Nigerians and Ghanaians about who makes the best jollof. Doubles is like that between Trinis and Guyanese people. Like for me, they’re just different. I’m getting doubles right now from the Guyanese spot. The thing about the Guyanese spot is that they don't need much. I like the way that they make it because they add more curry.
When you go into a Caribbean spot, you're gonna see a lot of different flags. You may not know what kind of restaurant you're actually in. You may not know whether you're in a Guyanese, Trini, or a Haitian restaurant on just entering the space because they dig each other a lot, which I like. They're always a connection between them. That's something that you would notice automatically. You'll notice a lot of rich culture. You're going to notice a lot of snacks, and a lot of pastries. You may see the sweets first before you actually get to see the hearty food because that's what's out front since usually these spots are also bakeries.
After we grab our breakfast, we’ll typically take our doubles anywhere. The cool thing is we grew up right next to Prospect Park, next to this really amazing park called Parade Ground that we call Caton Park because it's on Caton Avenue. That's where we would go to eat it, but because we're constantly moving around lately, sometimes we’ll just take it on the go.
Parade Ground | Photo by Cole Saladino for Thrillist
"They're selling candles, all these different types of things. And that has always been to me the Flatbush market vibe."
Then we like to go to this place that actually recently reopened, Flatbush Central Caribbean Marketplace. The Flatbush market has been a staple for a long time. There was a time when Flashbush market was in a parking lot next to Key Food and you had all of these artisans that would sell different things. I remember I used to get like a bunch of jewelry from this one dude, a lot of silver back in high school—I would say ‘98, early 2000s. Then they built this communal building or whatnot, and then all of the artisans were inside of this building. They tore that down completely. And they built residential buildings, like this sky-rise, which is crazy because it's completely changed the way that Flatbush looked to us growing up, because it's looking a little bit more like Downtown Brooklyn. These large sky-rises never really existed in this area of Flatbush, I would say. But what they did do was bring back the Flatbush market. The artisans are back in there, which is really amazing.
When you walk in, it feels a lot like going to the Caribbean island vendors. In the market they're selling different foods, produce, clothing, spices, and healing herbs. They're selling candles, all these different types of things. And that has always been to me the Flatbush market vibe. You can go in there and buy real curry. They sell produce, like crushed garlic. Then you have other stations that sell clothing. You have other people that are selling CDs or hand-made dolls. It's probably about 30 vendors and all kinds of different things. You might hear soca or reggae playing in the background.
Hibiscus Brew | Photos by Nick Gilmenakis
After the market, if we're feeling like walking around, we like to go to a neighborhood where we just had our fashion show, where the mini-mansions are in Flatbush. So if you turn the corner off of Caton and you turn on East 18th Street, you will walk into this kind of Narnia type of place because it completely turns into these huge mansions and residential homes. And it has always been to me, although Dynasty and I grew up in this neighborhood, very fascinating how a predominantly Black neighborhood turns into what we call “Connecticut.”
Then we’ll go visit our father, but before that, we like to stop at an African place to shop for his food. Because Flatbush is such a haven for first-generation people, whether you're African or Asian, there's always a space or hub to find specific produce. We grew up eating my father’s food. He didn't conform to what was being given out as nourishment here. In our household, it was very important that our family ate our parents’ food. We ate Nigerian food, specifically—West Indian food generally, typically some sort of Dominican-style dish. We would go there all the time. We’re actually going there right now.
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