Charlotte is getting a Black Food & Wine Festival, inspired by the Harlem Renaissance
Chef Greg Collier and wife Subrina — the team behind acclaimed restaurant Leah & Louise — will debut the Black Food & Wine Festival this fall.
The inaugural event is set to run Oct. 22 -24 at Camp North End.
The three-day festival will be a celebration of Black foodways with a goal of raising awareness and creating opportunities, Subrina says. More than 75 chefs, artisans, farmers, brewers and distillers are expected to participate.
“We noticed a huge void in the festival scene that excluded Black chefs, Black food and Black culture,” says Subrina. “Rather than telling other festivals to include us more, we decided to stop asking and create our own.”
She’s a 2020 James Beard Foundation Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership Fellow. Greg is a two-time James Beard-nominated chef.
The couple also owns Uptown Yolk at 7th Street Market. The pair helped found Soul Food Sessions, a pop-up dinner series highlighting the Black culinary industry.
Expect the Black Food & Wine Festival to educate — and entertain. The Colliers are drawing inspiration from the Harlem Renaissance, an intellectual and cultural revival of African American music, dance, art, fashion, literature and theater in the 1920s and 1930s.
“Back then, there was a burst of creativity and cultural appreciation born out of Prohibition,” Greg says. “Now, one hundred or so years later, Black creativity has been unappreciated and unnoticed for a while. We want to shine that spotlight bright.”
The festival kicks off Oct. 22 with a Chuckwagon Carnival. That event will feature multiple food trucks, amusement rides and family-friendly entertainment. The Black Stork Chefs Dinner, a ticketed multi-course meal, rounds out the day.
The Cotton Club Festival takes place Oct. 23, with chef demonstrations, a tasting experience and artisans. The Harlem Nights Chefs Dinner closes out the festivities, featuring seven chefs. The Savoy Jazz Brunch will wrap up the weekend, with multiple chef stations and live music.