Black Restaurant Week has returned to Atlanta.
The popular event that focuses on highlighting Black cuisine spots at various cities throughout the country is back in Georgia, now hosting an event at State Farm Arena, home to the Atlanta Hawks. Recently, Black Restaurant Week founder Warren Luckett and State Farm Arena Executive Chef Joe Schafer sat with rolling out to spill more details on the partnership.
What exactly is going on with Black Restaurant Week here in Atlanta?
Luckett: We’re super excited. Atlanta Black Restaurant Week is in its sixth annual campaign. We kicked off on Aug. 5 and it will be running through Aug. 14. We’ve got over 120 participating restaurants in the Greater Atlanta area, offering some amazing specials. But we’re ecstatic about our signature event that will be taking place right here at the State Farm Arena. On Aug. 12, from 6 to 10, we’re so excited to have a partnership with Levy Restaurants as well as State Farm Arena, we’re going to be able to highlight 25 of the top caterers and executive chefs. We even have some food trucks sprinkled in, but this is going to be an amazing Grand Tasting all-you-can-eat affair.
Schafer: We’re really excited to do this event. I think that State Farm has a responsibility to the community for things like this. When it comes our way, we should definitely participate. It’s an opportunity to lift up some businesses that you might not have otherwise heard of, or maybe you have and you just want to see them in a different capacity. Lots of events, fun stuff throughout the night, it’s going to be great.
What’s it like to have this event in a facility like this?
This space is absolutely amazing. I think this just speaks to the State Farm Arena as a venue in its entirety, from the elevated experiences, from the decor, the ambiance, to even just how incredible the food is. State Farm Arena is unlike many other venues like this in the country.
When did this event start?
Black Restaurant Week started in 2016. It was our way of creating a platform to talk about the impact of Black culinary cuisine in this country. Oftentimes when we think about food, we often talk about the amazing soulful contributions. But there’s been so many other amazing impacts across the hospitality industry. When you look at someone like Tom Bullock, and his impact on bartering in this country. If you look at James Hemings, Thomas Jefferson’s chef, and some of the amazing impacts he took from his time in France and the contributions he was able to create for American cuisine in this country. The history has been here. For us with Black Restaurant Week, it’s about continuing to showcase the legacy and providing a platform for the next generation of culinary professionals.