Smack Tacos Brighton event review 05/03/22  Sussex Visitor

Smack Tacos is an exciting and innovative concept originally started in London as a pop-up event with limited numbers of original prints of art by local artists, and also providing those who buy the art with handmade tacos. The event has evolved over time and now it also showcases original works of art by established and up and coming artists and is taking over Brighton! After hearing about their hugely successful event that took place last September we popped down to check out their latest show and to chat with curator and hugely talented taco creator Ohene Nyanin.

The last event took place on Saturday 5th March at Studio By Sea, Brunswick Street East. We arrived early to beat the crowds, yet the studio was already absolutely buzzing! Packed with art and food lovers working their way around the exhibits, chatting to the artists as they go. Co curator DJ EBZ spinning the tunes whilst Ohene is busy cooking and serving up some delicious looking tacos to everyone who has purchased some art or just wants to buy a taco! We have a fantastic time checking out some wonderful art by some incredibly talented artists such as Kareen Herbert, Limbo, Slayzy. Freeman, Kirsteen, Matt Murphy, Sarah James and Skatin Chinchilla. Then check out a live art show by renowned street artist Nathan Bowen which is mesmerising to watch, before taking the opportunity to sample some tacos. Ohene’s Caribbean style tacos are incredible! Slow cooked Jerk chicken with a mango salsa, and a cracking home made jerk sauce. The perfect blend of sweet and spice that we couldn’t get enough of. The popular vegan option of plantain, black bean and chimichurri sauce was equally as tasty and the Chimichurri really brought the sweetness of the perfectly cooked sticky plantain to the forefront making this a spectacular plate of food. We managed to quiz Ohene about his events in between mouthfuls of his delicious creations:

How long have you been doing the exhibitions?

I have been doing the exhibitions since 2018 – originally in Dalston (in London) it has a vibrant edge, which reflected both my food and the various artists we promote and showcase. I moved to Hove three years ago and found it to be the perfect place to establish the event given all the art and creativity Brighton and Hove has.

Where did the idea to mix taco’s and art come from?

I was at home making tacos, often putting my own spin or take by way of African/Caribbean styled tacos and was amazed as to how the tortilla could be used like a blank canvas where one can put almost anything on it. The idea of a tortilla being a blank canvas led to me thinking of art, and boom the concept of an Art and Taco pop up was born! Goes hand in hand! The perfect marriage of two cultures!


Where does your passion to do this come from?

A real love for food, entertainment and bringing people together. Reminiscent of my childhood – rich colours and flavours of Ghana close to my heart,

I’ve always been a foodie and a home chef, often recreating food I eat at various restaurants. Tacos being one my favourite go to foods.

Where does your inspiration for the tacos come from?

Originally, I made a taco based on the artist – speaking to each of them, checking what they like. This was when I held events for solo artists – now creations are much more organic based on a fusion of experience, my culture and the art.

The artists you promote how do you find them, what sort of artists do you like to promote?

To be honest – it’s an insta search, I seek out art that inspires and interests me. I particularly seek out those that are up and coming – I love being able to support those who are up and coming and get them alongside artists that are sometimes more established.

Where does your inspiration for the events come from?

The inspiration comes from attending various Art Exhibitions where I found the landscape was very much wine and cheese and so felt the need to make my event more relaxed and accessible

by pairing the art with some street food, tacos!

Is there a message you are trying to put out there? If so what is that?

My message is really simple – it’s about authenticity, being yourself and doing you.

What a fantastic day! The artwork, music, food and overall vibe was just perfect! We had a great time, leaving with full bellies and some stunning Anime illustrations by Slayzy which will make a wonderful addition to our home. Smack Tacos is a truly special event not to be missed, so keep your eyes peeled for the next event happening in July. Follow them on Facebook and Instagram @smacktacos for updates, or subscribe at www.smacktacos.com which also features Ohene’s blog where you can find the recipes for his delicious tacos!

Tony Shattell

Photos by Phoebe Wingrove