Derek Robinson, Falayn Ferrell, and Warren Luckett , Black Restaurant Week team (L-R)

Black Restaurant Week is back and projected to be bigger and better than ever, and you will have a few days to enjoy the experience.

The 10-day celebration runs through April 10 and promotes Black restaurants and culinary professionals who have shaped the food culture of Houston.  

Since 2016, Black Restaurant Week has been dedicated to celebrating the flavors of African American, African and Caribbean cuisines from across the country. Its culinary initiatives not only highlight food, but includes other aspects of the culinary business such as food trucks, products, and catering services.

“It’s an all-encompassing platform. A lot of the restaurant week models you have only really celebrate the restauranteurs,” said founder Warren Luckett. “We have specific activations like catering competitions, food truck festivals, and bartending competitions that really allows us to highlight all the different aspects of the Black culinary experience.”

An estimated 115 restaurants will participate this year compared to 109 last year. As part of their More than Just a Week campaign, Festival-goers will have a chance to expand their palettes in cities such as Galveston and Beaumont as well. 

Some of the restaurants include Cool Runnings Jamaican Grill, ChopnBlok, Fainmous BBQ, Frenchy’s, Craft Burger, Flava Wings, and Kale Me Crazy.

“What we wanted to showcase this year was the platform was 365. It’s not here today, gone tomorrow,” said Falayn Ferrell, the managing partner of operations. “The beauty is that you can take a day trip and really explore the culinary region.”

According to Black Restaurant Week, many businesses don’t have the funds to properly market their brands. Last year, the event helped 1,200 Black-owned restaurants nationwide increase their revenue by 15%.

Since the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, many businesses have struggled to get back on their feet. Ferrell said Black Restaurant Week gives back to the community through its non-profit arm, Feed the Soul Foundation, which financially supported 25 businesses nationwide with $10,000 grants and invested $190,000 in business development services. They will be able to expand their offerings to 30 businesses.

“We want to continue to be intentional with the relationships that we’ve built with a lot of these corporate partners that affords the business we work with contract opportunities throughout the year,” Luckett said. “Last year we had the opportunity to expand into our first international market…that is just the beginning of what we think this model can do as we continue to grow its reach overseas into Africa and Europe.

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I cover Houston's education system as it relates to the Black community for the Defender as a Report for America corps member. I'm a multimedia journalist and have reported on social, cultural, lifestyle,...