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Houston’s Black chefs heat up new ‘Kultured’ dinner series

Houston’s newest pop-up dinner series has revealed its initial lineup. Kulture: A Black Chef Table utilizes the downtown restaurant to showcase BIPOC food purveyors and chefs.

Organized by Kulture owner Marcus Davis and chef Keisha Griggs (Ate Kitchen), the Black Chef Table series furthers Davis’ goal of utilizing Kulture as a venue for showcasing African American artists, musicians, and chefs. The dinner series will spotlight Black chefs as well as fishermen, ranchers, and farmers.

“Kulture was designed to give an artist a blank canvas on which to paint. The first artist was chef Dawn [Burrell],” Davis tells CultureMap. “This is an extension of that, providing that for multiple chefs, providing that access and that opportunity and exposure.”

First announced this summer, Davis and Griggs have assembled their initial lineup:

  • November 7: Michelle Wallace, Gatlin’s BBQ
  • November 12-13: Shawn Osbey, Shawn Osbey Catering
  • November 19-20: Reggie Scott, Uncle Reggie’s International BBQ
  • December 3-5: James Haywood and Ross Coleman, Kitchen 713 and Lit Chicken
  • January 13-14: Keisha Griggs Ate Kitchen and Bocage Catering

Tickets for the dinners are on sale now via the Black Chef Table website

Wallace, who, like Davis, is a graduate of Texas Southern University, earned a CultureMap Tastemaker Awards nomination for her work at Gatlin’s. Haywood and Coleman received a James Beard Award semifinalist nomination for their work at Kitchen 713. Davis notes he has a personal connection to Haywood.

“I have a picture of him when I was 8 and he was 4. I’ve known him and his family for that long,” he says. “Chef James’ grandmother was one of the original kitchen ladies at The Breakfast Klub. The grits you love, she was the first person to stir ‘em in the kitchen. Just a little fun fact.”

Still, some of the other participants might not be as well known to diners. Davis is excited to showcase their work.

“Chef Shawn moved to Houston and has a nice pedigree, Davis says. “He’s been everything from a private chef to being on OWN Network. I think Houston needs to know who he is and what he has to offer. Quite frankly, the boy can burn. He’s got a gift.”

Scott worked as Burrell’s sous chef at Kulture. Griggs served creative Carribean food at the Politan Row food hall.

Assuming the initial series is successful, Davis hopes it becomes the new template for what Kulture is: a venue for “dinner parties” that showcase up-and-coming culinary talents.

“We’ll do something as long as the chefs are interested,” he says. “I hope the demand grows so high this is who we are and this is what we do.”

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