Memorial Day Food Tips from Pinky Cole, Married to Medicine’s Miss Quad and Jenné Claiborne

As we prepare for Memorial Day weekend festivities and the upcoming summer season, the popular flavored malt beverage brand, Seagram’s Escapes, in partnership with the Rolling Out Design & Dialogue Virtual Conference, ushered in the season by hosting the third installment of their virtual 2021 Empowerment Tour, “Cocktails and Conversations.”

The May panel featured esteemed African American women influencers in the food industry – including bloggers, chefs, restaurateurs, and cookbook authors who cover aspects of food from vegan delights to soul food bites with a twist.  The panelists included:

  • Africa Miranda – Author, Beautypreneur, Digital Personality and Actress (moderator)
  • Pinky Cole – Owner and Operator of Slutty Vegan, a plant-based burger restaurant chain in Atlanta
  • Jenné Claiborne – Vegan Chef, Author, YouTuber, Blogger, and Founder of Sweet Potato Soul
  • Miss Quad: Chef, Author, Talk Show Host, Entrepreneur, and Star of Bravo’s Married to Medicine

During the discussion, the featured Black women shared their best food tips and recommendations for the perfect summer celebration, complemented by their favorite Seagram’s Escapes beverage. Cole shared her Jamaican Jerk Tacos paired with Seagram’s Escapes Jamaican Me Happy, Claiborne shared her Vegan Crab Cakes and Red Pepper Aioli paired with Seagram’s Escapes Passion Fruit Mango, and Miss Quad shared her recipe for her Orange Glazed Salmon Salad paired with Seagram’s Escapes Jamaican Me Crazy.

Throughout the conversation, the talented food enthusiasts also shared stories on becoming prominent influencers and businesswomen, including their influences, challenges they faced, and the setbacks they overcame.

Quotes from Panelists to Note:

“I worked on [my] book for a long time,” Miss Quad stated about the development of her book, Cooking with Miss Quad: Live, Laugh, Love and Eat.  “It wasn’t something that came to me overnight. A lot of times, people think, ‘she’s on TV, she can just pick up the phone and call somebody, and there’s a book deal.’ It didn’t work like that for me.”  She continued to add, “It did not come without hard work. It did not come without some disappointments.  This was a book two years in the making, and it was well worth it.”

“I [initially] wasn’t making any money from Sweet Potato Soul,” added Claiborne.  “I started it in 2010, and I didn’t make any money until the beginning of 2016. It took me six years to make a penny. I could’ve put on ads, but I didn’t. Six years of making zero dollars from this blog. But at the same time, I was still committed to it. I loved it, it filled me up, even though I didn’t have as big of an audience as I do now. I think just having something that you’re so committed to, that you do it anyway, is really what can take you over the hump.”

“I was in the television industry for ten years, and what I learned is that I know exactly what people want,” noted Cole during the discussion.  “I know what’s going to gonna make them pay attention, so I said, ‘okay, how can I meet people where they’re at?’ I knew that I could merge the two most pleasurable experiences alive, and that’s sex and food. I did that, but there was an underlying teaching to help people reimagine food. I made my audience non-vegan. I’m catering to people who don’t even like vegan food but will be open to try it if you give them a good experience.”

Throughout the conversation, Cole also stated, “People don’t buy products. They buy into stories. People don’t love Slutty Vegan because of the food, they love me. They love my confidence. They love that I can walk into and own any room, they love my transparency, the fact that I’m organic – people buy into that, and that’s free. You can’t pay for that. As long as you can tell your story and know what your story is – and everybody has a story – just put it together and make it make sense, as long as it’s authentic, and then once people love you and your story, they’re going to buy whatever you sell them.”

Seagram’s Escapes presented this virtual panel to highlight Black women entrepreneurs who have overcome obstacles they faced on their road to becoming innovators in their fields.  Seagram’s Escapes launched the virtual conversation to elevate Black women business owners and provide resources and tools to propel them forward in their business. The series of virtual tours provide a space for honest conversations where a variety of trailblazers share their stories candidly with others in similar spaces to inspire, encourage and share the knowledge needed to accelerate their entrepreneurial tracks.

About Seagram’s Escapes

Seagram’s Escapes is a fun, fruit-forward, malt-based beverage brand based out of Rochester, New York. Seagram’s Escapes is celebrating 11 consecutive years of sales growth and is currently the #4 traditional flavored malt beverage brand in the United States. Seagram’s Escapes has since expanded its line to include a high ABV option, Seagram’s Escapes Spiked.

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