Kwame Onwuachi

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James Beard Award-Winning Chef, Author of Notes from a Young Black ChefExecutive Producer at FOOD & WINE Magazine

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Kwame Onwuachi: Biography at a Glance

  • Kwame Onwuachi is a James Beard Award-winning chef and author of Notes from a Young Black Chef, which looks back on the difficult path that one tough kid from the Bronx took to reach his goal: becoming a chef in charge of a fine-dining restaurant.
  • Kwame trained at the Culinary Institute of America and opened five restaurants before turning 30, including the groundbreaking Afro-Caribbean restaurant, Kith/Kin.
  • Since competing on Top Chef, he has been named one of FOOD & WINE’s Best New Chefs, Esquire Magazine’s 2019 Chef of the Year, and a 30 Under 30 honoree by both Zagat and Forbes.
  • He is currently an Executive Producer at FOOD & WINE Magazine, and served as a guest judge on Top Chef.
  • His memoir is in development at A24 with Lakeith Stanfield attached.

Videos

Biography

A competitor on Top Chef season 13 in California, Kwame Onwuachi is a James Beard Award-winning chef and author of Notes from a Young Black Chef.  He was born on Long Island and raised in New York City, Nigeria and Louisiana. Kwame was first exposed to cooking by his mother, in the family’s modest Bronx apartment, and he took that spark of passion and turned it into a career. From toiling in the bowels of oil cleanup ships to working at some of the best restaurants in the world, he has seen and lived his fair share of diversity. Kwame trained at the Culinary Institute of America and opened five restaurants before turning 30, including the groundbreaking Afro-Caribbean restaurant, Kith/Kin. Since competing on Top Chef, he has been named one of FOOD & WINE’s Best New Chefs, Esquire Magazine’s 2019 Chef of the Year, and a 30 Under 30 honoree by both Zagat and Forbes. He is currently an Executive Producer at FOOD & WINE Magazine, and served as a guest judge on Top Chef.

Topics

From Candy Bars to Michelin Starsarrow-down

By the time he was twenty-seven years old, Kwame Onwuachi had opened one of the most talked about restaurants in America, and launched his own catering company with twenty thousand dollars that he made from selling candy on the subway.

But Onwuachi found the road to success riddled with potholes. Growing up in the Bronx led him to brushes with gangs as a teen, drug dealing in college, and encounters with racism as a young chef.

Through food, he broke out of a dangerous downward spiral – embarking on a journey that led him to the kitchens of the most acclaimed restaurants in the country and appearing as a contestant on Top Chef.

A powerful, heartfelt, and shockingly honest story of chasing your dreams – Onwuachi inspires audiences to pursue their passions, despite the odds.

Notes From a Young Black Chef: Ingredients for an Inclusive Workplacearrow-down

Kwame Onwuachi’s love of cooking remained a constant even when, as a young chef, he was forced to grapple with just how unwelcoming the culinary world can be for people of color. His early experiences taught him about the kind of kitchen he did not want to lead - and that the most devastating forms of racism and sexism are not always the most visible.

Now a James Beard Award-winning chef, Kwame's commitment to an inclusive workplace has attracted some of the most talented chefs in the world of fine dining. Audiences will learn how to shine a light on the challenges their own organizations face, with memorable stories from Kwame's journey to illustrate the ingredients for success.

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The event went really well and everyone was very happy to have Kwame be a part of the series!

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