Calling all foodies!
Mark your calendars for the 8th Annual Black Restaurant Week in Houston from April 2-16.
Organizers hosted the ‘First Taste’ Media Mixer in the heart of downtown to build momentum ahead of next month’s festivities.
The event kicked off with a packed room of Black professionals enjoying the grand sample tasting from local participants including ChòpnBlock, The Greasy Spoon Soul Food Bistro, Jamaica Pon Di Road, Wing Quarter Daiquiris & Creole Kitchen, Sugar Rush Too OST and Houston Sauce Pit.
“We ask all of the restaurants to judge us (whether) we drive revenue to the establishment, and do we drive foot traffic to your establishment,” said Black Restaurant Week co-founder Warren Luckett. “If at the end of Black Restaurant Week, we have not done those two things, then we have done you guys a disservice.”
Luckett’s fellow co-founders Falayn Ferrell and Derek Robinson founded Black Restaurant Week in 2016 with the goal to bring more awareness to the diverse African-American, African and Caribbean cuisines in Houston and beyond through a series of events and promotional campaigns.
“This is my first time participating at this capacity,” said Gareth Powell, founder and head chef of Jamaica Pon Di Road. “This is a great experience to mix and mingle with other business owners, and show the community the rich tastes of Jamaican food and culture.”
In partnership with Feed the Soul Foundation, Black Restaurant Week’s non-profit arm, they’ve created sustainable culinary businesses through business mentorship, financial assistance and advocacy for food justice.
Craig Joseph, CEO of This Is It Soul Food in Third Ward was awarded with a surprise $10,000 grant through the organization’s business development program presented by Mayor Sylvester Turner.
“We are about to open a second location in May, so this grant gives us a better opportunity to build what we’ve done to make it much better,” Joseph said. “My favorite part of this experience is the opportunity to network and expand our knowledge and businesses.”
Currently, more than 90 Black-owned culinary businesses will be in participation in Houston this year.
For more information about the event calendar, visit: http://blackrestaurantweeks.com/