The African-American experience is unique in almost every facet. In the United States, some of our most identifiable qualities as a nation resides in our love of freedom, diversity, and our constant pursuit of equality. The American culinary legacy is complex and diverse in that African-American chefs and cooks have literally been feeding our great nation for hundreds of years by choice and sadly at times, by force. Through rice cultivation and introduction in North America, to the deliciousness of Macaroni and Cheese, African-Americans have contributed greatly to the culinary landscape, but finds itself underrepresented in almost every stratum of the food and drink industry along with other minorities.

It is quite common to celebrate our Greek, Polish, Italian and French ancestries, giving many Americans a personal history, culture, and celebration of identity through European food festivals and major events celebrating the rich culinary culture of Europe. These traditions are engraved in our shared cultural norms featuring such exciting events as October Fest and other amazing traditions of European food and drink heritage. However, for African Americans and black people universally, there has been a removal of lineage, and opportunity making the term “Black” at times taboo and misunderstood. So, black culture becomes a distinct phenomenon synonymous with the African-American experience, rooted in chattel slavery, oppression, Jim Crow, institutional racism and so on. It’s become a persistent legacy of exclusion and omission, but we are working hard to correct this reality.

Black peoples are represented all over the globe from the continent of Africa, to African-American, Afro-Hispanic, Afro-Caribbean, and on and on. The rich food and drink culture of these peoples and other groups similarly situated should be celebrated, promoted and expounded. The food pathways from African via the new world has shaped taste, flavors, smells and experiences like none other on the planet! Consequently, barriers to acquiring capital for food and drink ventures, lack of media attention, and socioeconomic stagnation has greatly affected the ecosystems of these groups. The BCCAF will assist in healing these realities through engaging and informative events for restaurant owners, chefs, bakers, mixologist, and just about anyone in the food and drink industry along with exposing the public to amazing restaurant offers and specials in neighborhoods throughout South Florida. The BCCAF is for everyone to come and learn and gain valuable resources while celebrating Black, Brown, and Women culinary culture for a more inclusive and supportive food and drink ecosystem.

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