Award-winning Washington DC chef Kwame Onwuachi (formerly of Kith/Kin) and Salamander Hotels & Resorts Founder & CEO and BET co-founder Sheila Johnson discuss The Family Reunion (LINK) , black culture, and diversity in the hospitality industry. The Family Reunion was an immersive experience presented by Onwuachi in partnership with Food&Wine and Salamander Hotels & Resorts on August 19-22, 2021 where dozens of chefs, culinary and hospitality professionals and a few hundred attendees celebrated diversity in the hospitality community.
“I’ve been a part of so many food festivals… and I was wondering why there wasn’t anything that really just celebrated black contributions to the food industry. We need to have an event that celebrates black and brown contributions to the food industry on a black owned property with a historical context,” says Onwuachi. Johnson is pushing the hospitality industry on diversity and equity. “We’re going to grow it, and we will continually shine light on the issues until we can get the problem solved, to really get minority-owned restaurants and hotels… we really want to level the playing field here. No more hiding in the shadows. No more being afraid to move forward,” she declares.
Both are excited for the prospects of bringing so many diverse voices together. “You can imagine the things that are going to happen at this event. People are going to meet each other, they’re going to decide to do things together, there’s going to be collaborations… It’s going to be fascinating to track what comes out of this,” Onwuachi concludes.