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Private Chef Week: Convos with Culinary Artists

June 30, 2020 - 5:00pm to 8:00pm
5+ sessions featuring award-winning chefs and culinary artists to discuss Diversity, Technology, Media and Funding.
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About this Event


This session will shed light on the impact that homegrown organizations can have on the local and national stage; how to lean into the responsibility necessary to do the work in today’s heightened social and political climate; and what’s next for the local food and beverage industry.

Moderated by Dawn Moss, Executive Managing Member at The Carolina Kitchen & Big City Foods, LLC and former Miss Black USA.


Rock Harper - Creator of The Chef Rock Xperiment Podcast, Winner of Hell’s Kitchen and Owner of Rock Solid Foods

Alexis Scott - Holistic Life Coach and founder and Director of Real Food For The Soul

Anna Valero - Owner of Hook Hall and Hook Hall Helps Initiative

Nakeisha Turner - Marketing/PR Manager of The Cheffing Series



6:00 PM - 6:30 PM Finding Funds and the Future of the Small Business

This panel will discuss the fiduciary responsibilities for restaurant owners and the pressures they face during a global pandemic and social uprising. Panelists will share their stories and discuss how grants, loans and other financing instruments can positively impact their relationships with investors and their customers.


Furard Tate - Owner of Inspire Hospitality and Co-founder of DMV Black Restaurant Week


Kristi Whitfield - Director of Department of Small and Local Business Development, Office of Mayor Muriel Bowser

Tiffany Lightfoot - Owner of My Cake Theory

Yahya Sardari - Owner of Coffy Cafe

Samia Bingham - Owner of Flavors; Winner of Small Biz Challenge

Olatokunbo Fakinlede - Owner of Finance 2 Wealth and Real Estate Investor


6:00 PM - 6:30 PM Food, Representation and Resilience

It’s time to buy the block. The media has a history of shaping the way communities of color see themselves. This panel unpacks the unjust narratives that have been placed on people of color in the hospitality industry. Through the lens of national and local platforms these panelists discuss how adversity builds resilience.

Moderator: JR Robinson - Owner of KitchenCray and Former Hell’s Kitchen Contestant


Andra “AJ” Johnson - Co-founder at DMV Black Restaurant Week

Lauren Von Der Pool - Author of Eat Yourself Sexy; Former Chopped Contestant

Karem “Mr. Bake” Queeman - Founder of Mr. Bake and Bake It Like Buddy Winner


6:45 PM - 7:15 PM Publicity in a Pandemic

This panel will dive into important topics such as ‘Will my business lose money if I post about social justice or inequality?’ ‘If I’m not in a crisis, do I need a publicist?’ ‘Is all press good press?’ Avoid being the center of attention of an unexpected media crisis and pitch to newsmakers. Discover the art of PR and unforeseen opportunities.


Takera Gholson - Blogger at Flights & Foods


Lisa Comento - Food & Wine Blogger

Nycci Nellis - Host of Foodie and The Beast

Camille Davis - Founder at MontagePR

Jill Collins - Founder at Jill Collins PR


6:45 PM - 7:15 PM Chefs For The Culture, Chefs For Change

This panel focuses on exploring the ways in which culture, language, flavors, and style shape our identity. With COVID-19 adversely affecting the health of African Americans to the peaceful protests from the Black and LGBTQ+ community, this panel explores how culinary artists can educate and bring awareness to larger issues such as social and racial disparities through food and beverage.


Dr. Erinn Tucker - Professor at Georgetown University Hospitality Management Program & Co-founder at DMV Black Restaurant Week


Jonathan Bardzik - Owner of Tarnow Entertainment LLC, and Author of "Seasons 2 Taste"

Kapri Robinson - Founder of Chocolate City’s Best

Catina Smith - Founder of Just Call Me Chef and Board Member at The Food Project


7:30 PM - 8:00 PM Technology and Access For The Future

The way we produce, order, deliver, and experience food is rapidly changing. Despite our differences most of us depend on technology for convenience in our day to day life. Explore how tech is shaping our lives and the future of food technologies.Moderator:

Claire Rowlett - Managing Partner & User Experience Designer at Chef X Concepts


Chris Spear - Founder of Chefs Without Restaurants

Rachel Koretsky - DC Startup Week Organizer and Founder of Upace

Rhonda Plummer - Founder of Cater2USF


This dynamic summit celebrates top Chefs, Founders, and

Curators in the food and beverage space. This virtual

single-day event presents a grassroots approach to

unifying foodies and the culinary arts community. The

sessions will focus on a variety of topics which include:

capital gains for your concepts, the effects of COVID-19

on the hospitality industry, leveraging tech, diversity in

food, making it with the media, and much more.

Our summit will answer questions such as: 'Is this a good

time for me to open a restaurant?' 'How can I create

additional income streams?' 'How can I stay relevant

during the pandemic?' 'How do I start as a private chef?'

'What companies could I partner with?' or 'Is it time to

invest in a publicity team?'