Renowned Nigerian-American chef Kwame Onwuachi’s achievements are nothing short of remarkable. With prestigious awards like the James Beard Award and titles such as Food & Wine’s Best New Chefs and Esquire Magazine’s 2019 Chef of the Year, his culinary journey has been extraordinary. He’s even been featured on Time’s “100 Next List” and hailed as America’s most important Chef by the San Francisco Chronicle. But beyond the accolades, Onwuachi is dedicated to nurturing diversity in the next generation of hospitality professionals.
The Family Reunion, an event he founded in 2021, is an immersive experience celebrating diversity in the hospitality community, returned for a third year from August 17-20 at Salamander Middleburg in Middleburg, VA. The event was in partnership with Dotdash Meredith’s FOOD & WINE and Sheila Johnson’s Salamander Collection. The event stretched over four days and showcased cooking demos that pushed culinary boundaries, sparking new flavors and ideas.
“The event that I’m most proud of. The event that gets me out of bed to plan day after day throughout the year. Family reunions were originally used to find lost family members after emancipation. To bring us back into the fold, reconnect with long-lost family, and meet the new. This is more than a food event, it’s a revival of the spirit.” Chef Onwuachi
The event’s enriching programming is highlighted by some of the industry’s top talent including Carla Hall, Rodney Scott, Bryan Furman, Gregory Gourdet, Mashama Bailey and Tavel Bristol-Joseph, Dine Diaspora’s Nina Oduro, and several surprise guests.
“Each year, The Family Reunion becomes larger, bolder and addresses even more important issues,” Johnson, who is the only Black woman to wholly own a Forbes Five-Star resort, shared with Food & Wine. “We look forward to an inspiring and inclusive weekend in the Virginia countryside.”
The multi-day event crosses culinary boundaries and combines thought-provoking panel discussions, topical cooking demonstrations, inspiring recreational activities, and daily “family” meals where attendees and celebrity participants can interact. The annual event was lauded by guests and talent for its energetic and unique approach.
Sheila Johnson remarked, “It’s all about coming together as friends and leaving as family.”
Team Credit: Imani Edusei & Adedayo Fashanu