Taste of Black Austin

Jan 27th, 2017 | By | Category: blog
Black chefs plying their trade.

African  American chefs plying their trade.

Here’s an opportunity to discover our shared culinary roots. This event is hosted by the Greater Austin Black Chamber of Commerce.

Taste of Black Austin is a culinary event that explores the narrative of economic development through the historical context of food. The event will open with an intimate reception on January 31, 2017 at Peached Social House featuring savory hors d’oeuvres prepared by ten of Austin’s favorite Black chefs and a curated photo exhibition showcasing Austin’s unique food history dating back to 1870.

Event tickets are available for $65 and community sponsor tickets are available for $120 and include a VIP cooking demonstration preceding the reception.

CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE TICKETS FOR THE EVENT. You may purchase ticket until the event.

A portion of the proceeds from the event will benefit Urban Roots. In 2008, Urban Roots began as a program of another youth development nonprofit to empower and develop Austin youth and promote healthy lifestyle choices.

Taste of Black Austin allows our guests the opportunity to taste various hors d’oeuvres that have been recreated to chronicle Black food history in Central Texas from 1870 to present. The menu will feature bite sized portions of dishes found in archived recipe books and historic menu selections.

Tavel Bristol-Joseph – Emmer & Rye
A native of Guyana, Bristol-Joseph spent every Saturday afternoon baking cookies, cakes, and pies with his aunt. After spending over 7 years as a chef in several New York fine dining restaurants, Bristol-Joseph moved to Tuscon, Arizona where he developed an excellent working and personal relationship with Emmer & Rye owner and executive chef, Kevin Fink. Bristol-Joseph decided to follow him to Austin to help open Emmer & Rye in November 2015 as executive
pastry chef and partner, where he puts a twist on traditional desserts that each pack a punch of spice.

Sharon Mays – Baby Greens
Sharon Mays founded Baby Greens in 2004, after a brief stint as a vegetarian made her realize that there were no fast food options for people looking for a quick, healthy meal. Sharon grew up in Austin, so she knew that her hometown was the perfect place to launch a fast food revolution. Under Sharon’s leadership, Baby Greens has won many awards and honors for its delicious food, including been voted “Best Salad & Dressing” in Austin.

Demmerick Johnson – Old Thousand
Demmerick Johnson is an Austin chef, whose resume is a historical reference point of some of the brightest restaurants in Austin’s burgeoning food scene, including: Les Amis Café, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Vespaio Enoteca, Fleming’s Steak House, Uchi, La Condesa, Perla’s, Fonda San Miguel, Justine’s Brasserie, 2nd Bar & Kitchen, and newly opened Old Thousand.

Iba Thaim – Cazamance
Iba Thaim, who hails from Dakar, Senegal, co-owns Austin’s emerging al fresco eatery, Cazamance Cafe. He aims to create dishes that pack a nutritional punch with an African influence.

Shontae MoellerLa Gris Gris
Moeller uses her passion for food to explore contributions of her heritage through Creole, Southern, Caribbean cuisine, and Gastronomy. Her cuisine utilizes seasonal and locally sourced ingredients applying innovative and classical preparation techniques obtained over her 18 plus years experience working in the fine dining restaurant industry, while paying homage to Creole and southern black heritage cookery. In March of 2015 Moeller opened La Gris Gris Food Trailer an ode to Voodoo Loas and Hoodoo mysticism.

Hoover Alexander – Hoover’s Cooking
Alexander is one of Austin’s most celebrated Black food professionals. The Austin native has spent over 40 years in the restaurant industry and uses his successful business history to encourage African American entrepreneurship in Austin. “Dreaming big is something I’ve always done and still do,” he says. “It took me a long time in my life journey to connect with what’s in my heart. I call it the Divine Stirring of the Pudding. How can I make a difference in this East Austin community that I am a product of?”

Joi Chevalier The Cook’s Nook
An honors graduate of the Culinary Arts Program at the Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts, Joi combines the best of her technology background with her love of culinary arts in a space for cooks at the beginning stages of their business – The Cook’s Nook. Joi has catered events around Austin, including the kitchens of large events like ACL and the Austin Food and Wine Festival. When she’s not at The Cook’s Nook, she’s tending roses, looking through her telescope, doing high performance driver’s education events, or traveling with her husband and her niece.

Adrian LipscombeKnotty Nice Bakery
Adrian Lipscombe is a Sustainable Cities Doctoral Initiative Fellow and is concentrating her studies on all aspects of sustainable transportation. Her interest is in equity and accessibility to bicycle transportation and the perception of transportation in minority communities. She obtained a BA in Architecture and a Masters in Architecture with a certificate in Urban and Regional Planning, and she was awarded the Alpha Rho Chi Bronze Medal from the University of Texas at San Antonio.

Jennifer Rousseau Cumberbatch
For over twenty years Jennifer Rousseau Cumberbatch has ministered in the Central Texas region and beyond. A native of Cincinnati, Ohio, and a an associate pastor at Agape Christian Ministries, as well as the owner of Cumberbatch Confections, home of Cumberbatch Sweet Tater Torte and JR Cumberbatch Productions.

An anointed teacher, preacher, counselor, vocalist, lyricist, author, playwright and actor, Cumberbatch uses her gifts and assorted modalities to express the depth and breadth of God’s unconditional love in various venues. She exudes a passion to serve, especially the vulnerable, and is motivated by her faith to creatively transform culture whether she is preaching to hundreds in Uganda, Africa, counseling a troubled mother in Austin, performing an original song in Los Angeles, speaking into the lives of women at conferences in Round Top and San Angelo, Texas, or encouraging elder citizens with the yet to be fulfilled promises of God, Cumberbatch’s ministry demonstrates God’s love, intellect, thoroughness, perspective, excellence and creativity.

Ey WilliamsNew Leaf Catering
Enrika adores food. Always has, since she was a small child growing up in Mississippi. She grew up intrigued by PBS cooking shows, her grandfather’s gardening and her grandmother’s uncanny and unfailing knack for entertaining in the truest traditions of “southern lady” charm. Currently Enrika is working as a personal chef to a prominent Houston family, as well as expanding her New Leaf culinary brand. In her spare time, she enjoys eating good food she doesn’t have to cook, shopping for clothes she doesn’t need and spending time with awesome people.

Jen D. Rodriguez3 Small Plates Catering
In 2012, Chef JRodi’s passion for entertaining and love of cooking evolved into of 3 small plates LLC, a contemporary tapas catering company specializing in quaint, intimate parties of 40 people or less. Drawing on European travels, residences in Spain and Germany, family experiences along with a culturally diverse group of friends and the love of food, Chef JRodi uses these talents to cultivate one-of-a-kind flavors, and dishes for clients to experience the artistry of Europe without leaving the comfort of their resident or venue. 3 small plates catering services include cooking demos, personal chef, tasting parties, private celebrations, non-profit organization, agencies, and churches in Austin, and its surrounding areas.

Guests of the evening will:

  • Sample custom hors devours curated by Austin’s premiere Black food professionals
  • Enjoy complimentary wine + spirits
  • View an exclusive photo exhibition highlighting historical moments in African American food history
  • Meet Austin’s cultural food ambassadors, food industry professionals, and restaurant owners

There were more Black-owned food establishments in 1905 than today.
Most Black restaurant business owners lived on the same property as their food establishments.
The business directory listed the first African American grocery stores in 1893.

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  1. Thank you, Cecelia, for talking about Taste of Black Austin! xx