Black Restaurant Week kicks off its second year

Hadas Kuznits
June 07, 2019 - 3:10 pm
Darlene Star Jones from Star Fusion Restaurant

Hadas Kuznits/KYW Newsradio

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Black Restaurant Week is about more than just food.

The second annual culinary fest takes over Philly this Sunday through June 23, celebrating the flavors of African-American, African and Caribbean cuisines.

Darlene Star Jones from Star Fusion Restaurant in Overbrook said the dozen participating restaurants will wow your tastebuds.

"It's not always, always soul food. It's a mixture of culinary essence," she said. "Just because you're African-American doesn't mean that you make traditional soul food."

And Black Restaurant Week gives a well-needed boost to minority-owned businesses.

"A lot of times people don't know where to even go or they don't even know that we exist," said Jones, though she credits the fest for bolstering a traditionally slow time in the industry and helping her make connections.

"Because now I know the owner of Booker's," she said, "and I know the owner of Tasty's."

It also gives visibility to black business owners.

"It gives us a face so children who look like me will see me."

Jones said aspiring chefs have reached out to her for advice or guidance in the industry. "I talk to everybody who wants to jump into this business because it was really hard for me to get into it. ... The big picture here is for generations to see that other black minorities can open up businesses and be successful at it.

"If you can see someone actually doing it and creating it, you can see a vision for yourself."

For more, subscribe to to the What's Cooking podcast on the RADIO.COM app.