The Federal's Cesar Zapata Partners With Russell Simmons, T.I. on Videogame App

The Federal Food Drink & Provisions' Cesar Zapata is not only a talented chef but also a tech whiz.

The chef/owner of the Federal is also the cofounder of Greenroks, a company that strives to educate and entertain youth culture through music, storytelling, and technology. The company has just released Mission: G-Rok, an adventure game available at the iTunes app store.

Zapata, along with Greenroks cofounder Natalia Weissman, forged a creative partnership with celebrity entrepreneurs Russell Simmons and T.I. to launch the game, which features an integrated music feature.

See also: The Federal's Booze Fairy: New Cocktails, Bottomless Happy Hour

Zapata tells Short Order that his new app is a "definite passion" of his and the "launch pad for a number of projects." And just how did Zapata and partner Weissman pair up with Russell Simmons? Zapata says it's a "very long story, but one thing is for sure: Persistence and tenacity made that one happen."

The interactive game features the character G-Rok and friends visiting fictional cities such as Smoggywood and Beastville while overcoming obstacles, battling enemies, and accomplishing missions to save the world.

What makes this game unique is the opportunity for players to listen to new and exclusive tracks by established and indie artists throughout each city. Also innovative are daily challenges and special missions. Players accumulate points that can be used to unlock hip-hop tracks and other collectibles.

Because Zapata is a chef, his thoughts of course turn to food. "Who knows? Maybe I'll be mixing all-natural kids' snack bars and sodas at some point. In the meantime, though, the focus is bringing awareness to the environment, because every little bit helps, and to use the game to showcase new, young musical talent. Mobile gaming is going to be the new gateway for people to disseminate information, discover new faces, and connect with the new generations. The idea is to pass the torch the same way it was given to us."

Mission: G-Rok is available at the iTunes app store for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch at a special launch price of 99 cents.

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Laine Doss is the food and spirits editor for Miami New Times. She has been featured on Cooking Channel's Eat Street and Food Network's Great Food Truck Race. She won an Alternative Weekly award for her feature about what it's like to wait tables.
Contact: Laine Doss