Black Restaurant Week returns to Los Angeles August 19 - 28 to celebrate the unique flavors of African and Caribbean cuisines. Sponsored by SoCalGas, the series of local events serves as a resource to help celebrate the diverse presence of cultural cuisines in the community. Hotville Chicken, Throwdown Soul Food, Beale’s Texas BBQ, and 1987 Juices are some of our local favorites participating this year.
“SoCalGas proudly supports Black Restaurant Week Los Angeles in celebrating local restaurants, talented chefs, and a wide selection of cuisines that enrich our dining experiences,” said SoCalGas community relations director Trisha Muse. “Black Restaurant Week is a great time to revisit a favorite spot or to discover a new restaurant with family and friends, and beyond the delicious food, restaurants create jobs and contribute to the rich culture of our communities.”
During the first few months of the COVID-19 pandemic, 41% of Black-owned small businesses closed throughout the US, twice the rate of other businesses, according to April 2020 census data. Despite the decline, Black entrepreneurs were quick to respond. The Bureau of Labor Statistics showed in 2021, Black-owned small businesses were established at the fastest rate in at least 26 years.
In 2016, Warren Luckett, Falayn Ferrell, and Derek Robinson teamed up to create Black Restaurant Week, which has grown from a niche experience in Houston, Texas to a nationwide event that introduces culinary businesses and culinary professionals to their surrounding communities.
Today, Black Restaurant Week goes beyond restaurants and includes catering services, food trucks, and culinary products. The events stimulate local economies and promote Black-owned businesses.
To kick off this year’s Black Restaurant Week, SoCalGas hosted an event on August 19, titled Culinary Spotlight: African American Cuisine, featuring Chef Norwood Clark of popular Carson restaurant, Darrow’s New Orleans Grill.
We are also working with ProStart, a career and technical education program that unites the foodservice industry with the classroom. It introduces high school students to culinary skills and restaurant management principles, as well as employability skills such as communication, teamwork, professionalism, and time management. This year Lawndale’s Leuzinger High School ProStart Students will visit Fresh and Meaty Burgers in Carson.
For more information about Black Restaurant Week, its events, and participating restaurants, please visit: www.blackrestaurantweeks.com.
Pictured above: Chef Norwood Clark of Darrow’s New Orleans Grill at SoCalGas’ Energy Resource Center.