Salamander Hotels and Resorts in Middleburg has teamed up with Food & Wine Magazine to present “The Family Reunion,” a multi-day event celebrating diversity in the hospitality industry.

The event is slated for Aug. 19-22 at Salamander Resort & Spa in Middleburg and will be co-hosted by Kwame Onwuachi, a chef based in Washington, D.C. who was a contestant on Top Chef in 2015.

World-class chefs, sommeliers and industry leaders will be presenting cooking classes and demonstrations, wine tastings and dinners and panel discussions throughout the weekend, according to Salamander officials.

The program will examine Black cooking traditions that have shaped cuisine in America, share lessons from the past, and focus on building a better and more inclusive future.

A portion of the proceeds will be used to create a mentorship and scholarship program to foster diversity in the hospitality industry, as well as to support efforts to help end childhood hunger, according to an announcement Wednesday.

Participants will include Carla Hall, Edouardo Jordan, Nina Compton, Carlton McCoy, Gregory Gourdet, Mashama Bailey, Rodney Scott, Tavel Bristol-Joseph and Pierre Thiam, among others.

Sheila Johnson, the owner of Salamander Hotels and Resort, is also the co-founder of Black Entertainment Television and a partner in Monumental Sports & Entertainment. She is the only African American woman to wholly own a Forbes Five-Star resort.

“Our remarkable, constantly renewing and evolving industry is as diverse as any other,” said Johnson in a prepared statement. “But, we can, and should do more. Therefore, I’m immensely proud to partner with Food & Wine and Kwame Onwuachi and delighted Salamander Resort & Spa can provide a platform for thoughtful discussion about inclusion.”

Leading up to the event, Onwuachi — a 2019 Food & Wine Best New Chef and the author of the culinary memoir “Notes from a Young Black Chef” — will spend nine days in residency at the resort, where he will be cooking food based on his Afro-Caribbean heritage.

“We should be doing everything in our power to celebrate diversity in our industry,” said Onwuachi. “For too long we have gone unnoticed and under-appreciated. This is our time.”

Tickets will go on sale in April at

-Karen Graham

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