“Rather than telling other festivals to include us more, we decided to stop asking and create our own.”
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Why ask someone to do something when you can do it yourself?

That was the thinking behind the inaugural Black Food & Wine Festival, set to take place October 22-24 at Camp North End in Charlotte, North Carolina.

The brainchild of two-time James Beard Award nominated chef Greg Collier and his wife Subrina, the three-day festival will be a celebration of Black food and culture, with more than 75 chefs, artisans, farmers, brewers, and distillers already signed on to participate.

"We noticed a huge void in the festival scene that excluded Black chefs, Black food and Black culture," Subrina, co-owner of Leah & Louise and Uptown Yolk, said in a statement. "Rather than telling other festivals to include us more, we decided to stop asking and create our own."

Chef Greg and Subrina are no strangers to creating opportunities where few exist. The husband-and-wife team helped found Soul Food Sessions, a pop-up dinner series highlighting Black culinarians. In 2020, they opened Leah & Louise, a modern juke joint named one of the country's best new restaurants by Esquire.

Inspired by the Harlem Renaissance, the Black Food & Wine Festival seeks to educate and entertain.

"Back then, there was a burst of creativity and cultural appreciation born out of Prohibition," Greg said. "Now, one hundred or so years later, Black creativity has been unappreciated and unnoticed for a while. We want to shine that spotlight bright."

So far, participating chefs include Ashleigh Shanti, Duane Nutter, and three Top Chef alums: Tiffany Derry, Chris Scott, and Keith Rhodes. Locals like Lindsay Williams of Davidson Wine Co., Greg Williams and Jamie Barnes of What The Fries, Whitney Thomas of The Grand Bohemian, and Michael Bowling of Hot Box Next Level Kitchen will also be part of the festivities.

A full website and ticket sales are expected to launch in June. For more information, including details about sponsorship, participation, and volunteering visit BlackFoodandWineFestival.com.

See y'all there!