Black Food Folks: February Update!

Greetings Black Folks!

With so many new people on the list, it’s probably a good idea to do some introductions:

We are Colleen Vincent and Clay Williams: Colleen is the Director of Culinary Community Initiatives at the James Beard Foundation, where she’s worked for the last 14 years to further the inclusion of underrepresented chefs and authors. Clay is a food and event photographer, covering the ins and outs of the industry since 2006. We launched Black Food Folks a year ago as a way to help bring the community together, both physically and virtually, and to support and promote the work that we’re all doing in the industry.

The ups and downs of just the last month has shown us why we need a more solid foundation on which to build successful businesses. Within days of our first big gathering of the year, which brought 100 Black food and food media professionals together at Colors, it was shut down due to fickle investors. Only the leadership of Chef Sicily Sewell-Johnson and the community’s support was able to ensure that the staff was properly paid what they were promised.

This industry often makes us feel as though we’re alone. Black Food Folks is here to show ourselves and everyone else that we’re not. This newsletter is an internal memo for the community. A way to share news, events, and job openings among ourselves. The mailings are (mostly) monthly, so if you’ve got additions for March, please let us know by 2/21.

Now onto our usual programming…

Colleen recently shared ways of Celebrating Black Culinarians this Black History Month on the James Beard Foundation Blog. Clay photographed with Chefs Zoe Adjonyoh, Aaron Hutcherson, Jessica Craig and others for While Entertaining, the forthcoming magazine by Amber Mayfield of To Be Hosted.

We’ll both by in New Orleans next week for Resistance Served, please be sure to say hi if you’re there. Clay is spending the weekend there with his wife beforehand, so let him know if you’ve got any recommendations.

News:

We like to start with the congratulations:

  • Jamila Robinson has been named as the Food Editor for the Philadelphia Inquirer.
  • Check out Chef Paola Velez on the cover of Washingtonian Magazine.
  • Joseph Stinchcomb has been honored as a Sam Beall Fellow.
  • Michelin-starred Chef Mariya Russell won Best Chef de Cuisine at the Jean Banchet Awards.
  • Aretah Ettarh of Gramercy Tavern is launching the first affinity group for the Black workers at Union Square Hospitality Group.
  • Photographer L. Kasimu Harris’ solo exhibition Vanishing Black Bars & Lounges is now on view at The August Wilson African American Cultural Center in Pittsburgh.
  • Morgan Carter is the new Branded Content Manager at the James Beard Foundation.
  • Klancy Miller wraps up fundraising for For The Culture this week. Please support, if you haven’t already!
  • Deem Journal has launched its first issue with an article about Yemi Amu of Oko Farms by Korsha Wilson.
  • Oko Farms is still raising money to fund its move to Weeksville Heritage Center after losing its original location.
  • DineDiaspora is seeking nominees for its annual 31 Days of Black Women in Food. The deadline is Friday, February 7th.
  • Chef Cassidy Lewis is baking Kings Cakes for The Gumbo Bros. in Brooklyn.

Read/Watch/Listen:

First, if you haven’t gone out and gotten a copy of this month’s Food & Wine magazine, go get it now. You’ve got to see the gorgeous piece, The Original Innovators, curated by Jessica B. Harris, photographed by Oriana Koren and including words and recipes by a dozen of our most talented writers and chefs including Nicole Taylor, Stephen Satterfield, Mashama Bailey and Jonny Rhodes. It’s amazing. Also, don’t miss Rahanna Bissert Martinez interviewed up front.

Who’s Hiring:

  • Staff Writer, Eater
  • MOFAD is hiring part-time museum educators for Spring 2020
  • Harlem Chocolate Factory is seeking an experienced Chocolatier with a minimum of 2 years professional experience. Email Jessica Spaulding to apply.
  • London’s Kitchen Table is seeking a Development Sous Chef.
  • TomCookery Hospitality Management is hiring for FOH positions.

Black Food Folks is a fellowship of Black professionals in food & drink, promoting and supporting one another for mutual success. Founded by Colleen Vincent and Clay Williams. Colleen is the Director of Culinary Community Initiatives at the James Beard Foundation, where she’s worked for the last 14 years to further the inclusion of underrepresented chefs and authors. Clay is a food and event photographer, covering the ins and outs of the industry since 2006.  Join the conversation on Twitter and Instagram.

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