Eating my way through some of NYC’s best restaurants supporting small business and diversity.
While most of the nation was sipping margaritas and throwing back shots of tequila, I had the pleasure of sampling sweet wine and cocktails, and tasty, bite-sized delicacies that would send any foodies’ taste buds into overdrive. My Cinco de Mayo celebration led me to the BCA Global’s 13th Annual Food & Wine Experience. It was the perfect way to close out Small Business Week with more than 30 local restaurants and distilleries showcasing the best of their menus. Check out some of my favorite bites.
The evening kicked off with BCA President and CEO Alex Askew welcoming more than 200 attendees. He recognized this year’s recipient of the BCA Vision in Wine Award, George Carbonell of Empire Merchants and called attention to the deserving culinary students working alongside celebrity chefs and premier NYC food professionals at the event. Around this time, I had my first experience with caviar atop a light salad paired with a sweet rosé. Two thumbs up for both.
Barbecue pulled pork slider in hand (straight from the Lincoln Center Kitchen), I headed upstairs with my fellow foodies to take in an overwhelming display of food, wine, and spirits vendors. My first stop was a well-known, go-to spot whose restaurant is located in downtown Manhattan.
Negril Village’s Chef Dwayne served delicious oxtail pasta. I had to stop myself from taking more than one.
Solomon & Kuff
Next up, I visited the Solomon & Kuff table to try their Bluefish Ceviche. Located in Harlem, my part of town, the restaurant boasts a selection of more than 100 rums and features Caribbean-inspired cuisine. I will definitely be paying them a visit in the near future.
Just Soul Catering
Not only did they have their elevator pitch on point, Just Soul Catering had the literal recipe for success. Jambalaya Stuffed Cornbread with options: shrimp, chicken, or vegetarian. Need I say more?
Gifted Hands Catering
Being the shrimp and grits kind of girl that I am, my heart jumped and mouth watered when I saw the Blue Cheese Grits w/Smoked Sriracha Buffalo Shrimp that Gifted Hands Catering’s Chef D. Palmer was offering. It was every bit as delicious as it sounds. I’m not telling, but I’m pretty sure I saw several hands grabbing for seconds.
It wouldn’t have been right to leave without dessert, so I gladly obliged in sampling a healthy portion of Nadege Fleurimond’s Bread Pudding with Coconut Rum sauce.
Led by Askew, the BCA’s mission is to consistently build a broader platform for diversity within the culinary, hospitality, and food service industry. They seek to diversify the talent pool of young professionals of color by providing exposure as well as professional and educational opportunities. The Annual Food and Wine Experience is the only culinary event in the country that focuses on diversity. To learn more about BCA Global, go here, or contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org for membership and donation inquiries.
Rochelle Turner is the Marketing and Audience Development Manager at Black Enterprise. For more bite-sized tips on marketing and life, check out her website at rochelleshante.com.