December 12, 2012 | 8:17am
Back in the nineties, there was a strong local music scene in South Florida. Bands such as Marilyn Manson emerged from the area to garner international fame--not just for the music. Darrin 'Big B' Beni played a big part in the local scene as one of the vocalists for the band Collapsing L.U.N.G.S.--the band was originally started by a former Marilyn Manson band member. In the band's heyday, they could be found touring with House of Pain or Cypress Hill. At one point, Limp Bizkit opened for Beni and the band.
Beni, who is also a trained chef, has recently combined his two creative outlets together by starting a new line of chef coats that are rock-inspired: Diced Chef Gear.
The company is aiming to cater to the new breed of chefs that can frequently be found sporting full sleeves of tattoos, in the large open kitchens of gastropubs and other casual chef-driven restaurants. Diced is attempting to brand itself as representing an underground society that ties into music, tattoos, gastropubs, and microbrews. "I've had the idea for a chef coat company for a while now," he says, "Restaurant people are all pretty much partiers; so many are into music. There's some sort of connection between music, food, and the explosion of tattooing. Being involved in all of these elements, I thought why wouldn't that work on chefs coats?"
Beni, who currently works in food distribution and owns a catering business, started the brand with childhood friends Blake and Lane Ergel. The Ergel's have been involved in the apparel business for quite some time now. The group launched the company at the Boca Wine and Food Festival. So far they have been receiving positive response. "We've even met some people, not in the industry, who want to buy the jackets to wear them to the clubs," says Beni.
According to Beni,"It seems like chefs are the new Rock 'N' Roll stars, but they're still wearing the same coats. I think we have a niche here."