Kwame Onwuachi has the news leading my week: The Bronx-born chef is making a big return to his hometown, with a restaurant set to debut inside the revamp of David Geffen Hall at Lincoln Center this fall.
Afro-Caribbean cuisine will get the spotlight. Anticipated dishes include chopped cheese, the New York bodega favorite, and soup dumplings filled with the iconic Nigerian dish Egusi. It’s a big win for expanding cultural awareness, and the project may be one of the most high-profile investments in building a more diverse restaurant landscape in all of America. It’s Onwuachi’s first restaurant since his previous two in D.C. — Kith/Kin and Shaw Bijou — closed down.
When I interviewed Onwuachi at the 2019 Forbes 30 Under 30 Summit in Detroit, he was already a rising star, with a James Beard Award in addition to a spot on the Forbes list. Onwuachi was glowing on stage as he discussed his new memoir. Notes From A Young Black Chef details Onwuachi’s rise through some of the most famous restaurant kitchens in the world, including Per Se and Eleven Madison Park. The memoir rocked the restaurant industry and received critical acclaim.
“A lot needs to be done. Diversifying the critic pool is very, very essential for the growth of restaurants that people aren’t familiar with,” he said at the time. “I mentor by example.”
Now the 32-year-old is among the country’s top celebrity chefs. His memoir will be turned into a movie, he is a judge on Bravo’s Top Chef and his first cookbook is scheduled to come out in May. I look forward to eating more of his food soon.
— Chloe Sorvino, Staff Writer
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Late summer cooking is my favorite cooking. Throwing corn, tomatoes, peppers, onion and greens into a skillet makes me happy, and the dish is the perfect base for any protein you could choose.
Chloe Sorvino leads coverage of food and agriculture as a staff writer on the enterprise team at Forbes. Her book, Raw Deal: Hidden Corruption, Corporate Greed and the Fight for the Future of Meat , will publish in December 2022 with Simon & Schuster’s Atria Books. Her eight years of reporting at Forbes has brought her to In-N-Out Burger’s secret test kitchen, drought-ridden farms in California’s Central Valley, burnt-out national forests logged by a timber billionaire, a century-old slaughterhouse in Omaha, and even a chocolate croissant factory designed like a medieval castle in Northern France.
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