Stella Artois drops an NFT fried chicken recipe to support struggling restaurants

The launch corresponds with National Fried Chicken Day.

Yes, there is a chicken wing shortage. But that’s not stopping Stella Artois from celebrating National Fried Chicken Day with an NFT drop.

On Tuesday, the Anheuser-Busch brand revealed an NFT collection, in collaboration with the James Beard Foundation, digitizing Chef Marcus Samuelsson’s recipe for Fried Yardbird, the chef’s popular chicken recipe. 

The collection, which includes a digital file of the Fried Yardbird recipe, a video revealing tips, tricks and rituals narrated by Samuelsson and a private dinner for two at Red Rooster, the chef’s famed Harlem restaurant, will be auctioned to raise money for the James Beard Foundation’s Food and Beverage Investment Fund for Black and Indigenous Americans. 

The donations will support restaurants still at risk for permanent closure due to the pandemic. 

“After an extremely difficult year for restaurants, Stella Artois has been focused on continuing our support of local eateries to not only ensure they are able to reopen, but stay open long term,” said Lauren Denowitz, communications and creative lead at Stella Artois in an email. “We’ve seen NFTs really take off across industries and were excited to bring them to the culinary sector as a new and innovative way to aid restaurant relief.” 

In addition to the collection, led by Pereira O'Dell, AB InBev’s internal agency draftLine and 3PM, a group within Weber Shandwick, Stella Artois rolled out Open for Good, an aluminum bottle available in restaurants and bars. A portion of proceeds from each bottle sold will go to the James Beard Foundation’s Open for Good Fund. 

Stella is also sponsoring Christie’s Auction House 2021 “Art & Tech Summit: NFTs and Beyond,” a one-day event on July 15 which focuses on the impact of emerging technologies on the art world. Chef Samuelsson will speak at the event about the Stella NFT project and how the culinary arts can embrace the digital world.

Stella Artois has previously worked with the James Beard Foundation and Chef Marcus, most recently for the “Stella Sessions @Home” campaign, in which the brand offered in-home cooking lessons to diners. 

“As we were planning this NFT, we knew we wanted it to be an iconic recipe,” Denowitz said. “Chef Marcus Samuelsson’s Fried Yardbird is not only that, but it’s insanely delicious. As one of the most popular dishes at his famed restaurant, it felt like a natural fit to NFT this dish.” 

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