Updated: Black History Month in hospitality

Aleesha Hansel

Aleesha Hansel

05 October 2020

From cook-a-longs to guest cocktails, here’s a round-up of hospitality initiatives running this October for Black History Month

If you know of any other venues, groups or individuals running events or promotions around Black History Month this year that we haven't mentioned here, please do let us know and we’ll keep the list updated. Drop us an email on robyn@imbibe.com or get in touch via social media @imbibeuk because we’d love to give it a shout out.

Music, markets and art

There’s a ton of events happening at Boxpark venues this Black History Month.

Sunday 11 October: Boxpark Wembley is collaborating with food and cultural events group Carib & Co Brunch to host a physical marketplace to showcase Black-owned British businesses, plus a live Q&A session with the founder of Black Minds Matter UK, Agnes Mwakatuma.

The event is free to attend but tickets must be booked in advance here.

Thursday 15 October: Boxpark Croydon hosts a panel on creative arts career pathways - how to get your foot in the door, followed by a live performance by home-grown South London musician Loyle Carner.

Thursday 22 October: Boxpark Wembley celebrates emerging Black enterprises with a panel featuring Isabelle White, founder of Image Gang, and Khalia Ismain, founder of Jamii. 

Thursday 29 October: Boxpark Shoreditch examines Black Identity - how history has shaped British communities today. The panel line-up includes Fiona Compton, founder of Know Your Caribbean, and Chante, political commentator and Channel 4’s ‘How Not To Be A Racist’.

The events are free to attend and tickets are available here

Throughout the month: Boxpark Shoreditch & Boxpark Croydon have partnered with visual storyteller Julian George to create an artistic celebration of talented Black chefs. The project, Made You Look, features 11 of the country’s best Black chefs. The project is designed to raise awareness and champion Black chefs, asking why nobody is talking about these incredible chefs and the work they are doing. 

Shake it up

Equal Measures UK, the platform set up by Agave spirits consultant and ambassador Deano Moncrieffe, should be your go to feed for daily cocktail inspiration this month, both in terms of recipes and stories.

Each day Deano will share a guest's cocktail– inspired by a person of colour that has meant something to them. Moving past just the obvious historical figures of importance, guests are also set to talk about people close to them that have made an impact, from key workers to relatives. Better stock up on supplies!


Cheers to change

Starting this month, Cheers to Change is a collaboration between Vinclusive – an online platform working towards equity and inclusion in the UK drinks industry; Nada Ahmed, wine director at Kained Holdings Restaurant Group, and Dechomai – a social enterprise supporting BAME women progressing within hospitality.

Focused on addressing the extreme lack of diversity within Scotland's drinks sector, the series of virtual sessions will offer a window into the industry and provide introductory training such as basic wine tasting and wine service skills.

Hosted by drinks professionals, the series has sponsorship and support from big names such as Hallgarten Wines and Moet Hennessy.

@vinclusive_ @nada_ragrette299 @dechomailtd

Podcast and chill

Bowldly Black is a podcast produced by ex-private chef Jennifer Akhaya to specifically accompany the new Black History Month-inspired dishes on offer from her gourmet meal subscription service, Bowled Over.

The Nungwi Bowl, named after Northern region of Zanizar and It's Jollof Time Bowl, named after the West African dish, will bring the flavours of Africa straight to your doorstep, while you listen to Jennifer sharing her earliest kitchen memories and her take on food and culture.

Having previously worked in restaurants and after three years of training, Jennifer is perhaps most well known for setting up Akhaya cooking school, which was the UK's first dedicated to African food.


Tuesday sessions

Black Book, the representation platform for Black and non-white people working within hospitality and food media, is running a full day of workshops, masterclasses, cook-a-longs and discussions every Tuesday throughout October. The sessions explore the four pillars of Black Book: equality, visibility, wealth creation and equity, in meaningful and dynamic ways. As well as a celebration this is also a time to support, nurture, and address topics that surround our community.

Following the popular eight week online series, ‘De-colonising the food industry’, Black Book’s second series of events celebrates Black History Month at The Tramshed Project harnessing leading voices and talent from who just so happen to hail from the Black diaspora, to showcase the future of Black histories in food.


Corporate cook-a-long

Run by private chef Wunmi Etti, Angry Black Kitchen is offering virtual cook-a-long's for whole teams to enjoy.

Having previously offered up her culinary delights for the likes of Deliotte, Twitter and the National Theatre she will guide budding (and not so budding) chefs through cooking African and Caribbean dishes. Popular choices so far, have included the classic Nigerian jollof rice and suya spiced beef skewers. Sure to be the best zoom call you've made all year.


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