The 'Taste of Ebony': Annual Celebration Honors the Contributions of Those in the Food Industry

Ebony, January 2008 | Go to article overview

The 'Taste of Ebony': Annual Celebration Honors the Contributions of Those in the Food Industry


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The second annual "Taste of EBONY," a culinary extravaganza that recognizes the expertise of Black chefs and food-industry experts, was recently presented in Chicago, continuing the celebratory tradition that began at the 2006 inaugural event in New York.

More than 650 invited guests at the River East Art Center sampled dishes and beverages from some of the country's top Black chefs, pastry chefs, sommeliers and restaurateurs, including co-chairs Marcus Samuelsson, executive chef/TV host and owner of Aquavit in New York; G. Garvin, executive chef and host of TV One's Turn Up The Heat With G. Garvin; and Jeff Henderson, former executive chef at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas and author of the best seller Cooked: From the Streets to the Stove, From Cocaine to Foie Gras. The three were featured during the event's culinary show, and each one prepared delicacies for the audience to taste. "The Taste of EBONY salutes the extraordinary culinary masters who've paved the way for others mad shines the light on up-and-coming chefs mad sommeliers who are making significant strides in the industry," says Linda Johnson Rice, president and CEO of Johnson Publishing Co. Inc.

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While sampling a variety of dishes, the crowd was able to mingle with the event's host, Bill Bellamy, who hosts NBC's Last Comic Standing and TV One's Bill Bellamy's Who's Got Jokes. Guests 'also enjoyed the EBONY Red Room, which featured a compelling exhibit of artwork from The EBONY Collection.

Event sponsors included Anheuser-Busch, Inc. (a two time title sponsor), Chrysler (featuring the Chrysler Sugar Lounge, which provided a variety of desserts), TV One, RR Donnelley, American Airlines, Viking, American Express, Swanson, Aramark, Mien Brothers mad Chicago Seafood. Additional partners included Washburne Culinary Institute of Kennedy-King College, OwensMorris Communications, Powerhouse Productions, Spin7 and Fanfares Catering Inc.

Samuelsson, who served as last year's chairman and culinary adviser, says, "This event is a celebration, but it's really about opening doors for one another."

(1) Culinary participants include (front, l. to r.) Connie Rousseau, executive chef, Connie Cooks, Fort Lee, N.J.; Melba Wilson, owner/proprietor, Melba's Restaurant, New York; Tre Wilcox, executive chef, Cuisine of Abacus Restaurant, Dallas; Leon Baker, pastry chef, Farrah Olivia Restaurant, Alexandria, Va.; Bill Bellamy, comedian/host TV One's Bill Bellamy's Who's Got Jokes and Taste of EBONY host; Charlotte Lyons, food editor, EBONY; Marvin Woods, executive chef/TV host Home Plate, Atlanta; Morou Ouattara, executive chef/owner Farrah Olivia Restaurant, Alexandria, Va.; Steven McAfee, executive chef, Parrot Cage, Chicago; Cliff Rome, chef, Parkway Ballroom, Chicago; Brian Duncan, wine enthusiast/co-owner, Bin 36 Restaurant, Chicago; (back row, l. to r.) Andre Mack, corporate sommelier, The Fireman Hospitality Group, New York; Sterling Burpee, chief culinary officer, Culinary Training Academy, Las Vegas; G. Garvin, executive chef/TV host TV One's Turn Up The Heat With G. Garvin, Los Angeles; Timothy Dean, executive chef/owner, Timothy Dean Bistro, Baltimore; Marcus Samuelsson, owner/executive chef, Aquavit, New York; Allan Vernon, owner, Vernon's Jerk Paradise, New York; Jeff Henderson, executive chef and best-selling author, Las Vegas; Robert Gadsby, executive chef, Bedford Star Group, Houston; Jacqueline Cholmondeley, executive chef, Always Accolades Catering, New York; (not pictured, Darryl Petty, owner, Blu 47, Chicago) (2) Anheuser-Busch, Inc. …

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