Heinz’s Open Kitchen Series Spotlights Emerging Black Chefs
Heinz, the ketchup brand, has launched its Open Kitchen Series. It’s an initiative aimed at showcasing emerging Black chefs within the restaurant industry. The Black Kitchen Initiative is designed to recognize and support Black-owned food establishments. The series highlights culinary talent through restaurant takeover events led by prominent chefs. To kick off this program, the food company has partnered with chef and restaurant owner Marcus Samuelsson.
“Heinz Open Kitchen is a dynamic platform empowering our Black Kitchen Initiative grantees to reach new heights in the culinary world,” says Heinz.
The first event of the series is scheduled to take place in Harlem at Red Rooster on Wednesday, December 6. Collaborating with Chef Marcus Samuelsson will be Joy Crump and Beth Black. They are co-owners of Foode + Mercantile in Fredericksburg, Virginia. That is a community-driven restaurant group celebrating Black cuisine through locally sourced and seasonal ingredients.
The second pop-up is set for February 21, 2024, in the historic Old Fourth Ward neighborhood at Marcus Bar and Grille. It’s organized by Lorraine and Antwan Smalls, owners of My Three Sons in Charleston, South Carolina, the restaurant pays homage to Charleston’s culinary contributions, offering down-home food with warm and inviting service.
Both participants in the Open Kitchen Series are recipients of grants from the Black Kitchen Initiative. According to their website, these pop-up events serve as a platform for these culinary talents to expand their network and gain exposure for their growing businesses.
Heinz initiated the Black Kitchen Initiative in 2020 to recognize the impact of Black entrepreneurs in the culinary world. It utilizes its status as a major company to support Black voices and businesses. Over the last three years, Heinz has contributed approximately three million dollars in grants. They have also spearheaded the Black Kitchen Podcast and the Open Kitchen Series.
Through partnerships with Southern Restaurants for Racial Justice and The Lee Initiative (organizations committed to empowerment and equity in the industry) Black restaurant owners are connected with tangible resources. These resources include those that support the long-term health of their establishments. Now, with the debut of Heinz’s Open Kitchen Series, the brand is collaborating with Black chefs—those who share an equal commitment to showcasing diverse voices in the culinary world.
Learn more about the Open Kitchen Series and Black Kitchen Initiative here.