Executive chef at Washington DC’s Kith and Kin Kwame Onwuachi discusses his culinary coming-of-age memoir, Notes From A Young Black Chef.
Onwuachi, winner of the 2019 James Beard Rising Star Chef of the Year award, took an unconventional path to culinary success, having started out in the kitchens of an oil spill cleanup ship. In Notes from a Young Black Chef, Onwuachi recounts his childhood in New York, Nigeria, and Louisiana; his stints at Eleven Madison Park and on Top Chef, and his grief at the closing of the much-hyped restaurant he opened at age 26. Throughout, Onwuachi, now executive chef at DC's Kith/Kin, highlights the racism and elitism ingrained in the fine dining industry, and reveals the opportunities that empowered him to make change. Join Onwuachi and the Chicago Sun-Times’s Ji Suk Yi for a discussion about how diversity in the kitchen benefits both chefs and diners.