November 13, 2023

HEINZ and World-Renowned Chef Marcus Samuelsson Elevate Up-and-Coming Black Chefs with New ‘Open Kitchen’ Series

HEINZ has announced Open Kitchen, a new event series from the brand’s Black Kitchen Initiative. Kicking off in partnership with world-renowned chef, Marcus Samuelsson, past and current Black Kitchen Initiative grantees will take over restaurant kitchens for exclusive pop-up experiences. Open Kitchen gives up-and-coming Black chefs new opportunities, experiences, resources and exposure for their culinary businesses – currently one of the largest barriers to success in the American restaurant industry. The first takeovers will happen in New York and Atlanta.

Samuelsson – the creative and culinary force behind more than a dozen restaurants worldwide – will open two of his most iconic locations to past Black Kitchen Initiative grant recipients to kick off the program. Samuelsson will also collaborate with the chefs on exclusive dishes for each event.

  • On Dec. 6, 2023, Joy Crump and Beth Black will bring their signature Virginia flair to New York’s Red Rooster Harlem. Crump and Black own Foode + Mercantile in Fredericksburg, Virginia. The chefs celebrate Black culture through food, music, community and storytelling.
  • On Feb. 21, 2024, Samuelsson will open Marcus Bar & Grille in Atlanta, Georgia to Lorraine “Mama” Smalls and Antwan “Cake Daddy” Smalls. The Smalls own My Three Sons in North Charleston, South Carolina, where they offer classic soul food with a regional Gullah flair that patrons regularly say is reminiscent of eating grandma’s homecooked meals.

“Opening a restaurant is tough business,” said Samuelsson. “From raising capital to getting people to know you are there, it’s an uphill battle, which is why I’m thrilled to partner with HEINZ on the new Open Kitchen series to provide resources and additional exposure to multiple Black Kitchen Initiative grantees. I can’t wait to see what these chefs cook up in my kitchens. The future is bright for each of them.”

The Open Kitchen series is the latest program coming out of the HEINZ Black Kitchen Initiative. Launched in 2020 in partnership with The LEE Initiative and Southern Restaurants for Racial Justice (SRRJ), the HEINZ Black Kitchen Initiative aims to celebrate and preserve the legacy of Black food culture by helping to break down barriers that keep Black voices and cooking out of America’s culinary space.

“The Black Kitchen Initiative is a hallmark program for HEINZ as we recognize the critical way America’s Black-owned food businesses continuously shape the nation’s food culture,” said Lizzy Goodman, HEINZ Brand Communications Manager. “All Black Kitchen Initiative programming strives to set up Black food business entrepreneurs for long-term success. A key priority for us is growing and evolving the initiatives – as we’ve done with the new Open Kitchen Series – to ensure we’re addressing current challenges Black food entrepreneurs are facing in the industry.”

In addition to Open Kitchen, in the last three years, the Black Kitchen Initiative has committed a total of $3 million dollars in grants and released two seasons of the award-winning Black Kitchen Podcast Series. After announcing the latest $1 million commitment in Black Kitchen Initiative grants in July 2023, the newest grant recipients have been selected. The full list can be found at HEINZ.

Foodies and fans can purchase tickets to the Black Kitchen Initiative Open Kitchen event in New York on Dec. 6, 2023 by visiting Open Kitchen Harlem. For more information about the Open Kitchen series and the Black Kitchen Initiative visit @heinzbki, @leeinitiative and @srrj_coalition on Instagram.





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