A delicious dinner paired with a great TV show
On Wednesday, November 18th, ABC’s hit show “For Life” had its season 2 premiere. And to celebrate the start of season 2, a virtual dinner party was hosted across the country with help from Black Restaurant Week. Black Restaurant Week’s goal is to highlight Black-owned restaurants and feature some of the best Black American and Caribbean food being created across the country. This dinner did not only celebrate the season 2 premiere but also wanted to celebrate Black-owned restaurant owners who were actually formerly incarcerated. This event featured food from chefs in Atlanta, New York, Los Angeles, and Philadelphia.
If you haven’t had to chance to check out ABC’s “For Life” yet, the show centers itself around Aaron Wallace (Nicholas Pinnock), a man who becomes a lawyer to fight case in defense of inmates after being wrongfully imprisoned for life. He then fights for survival and his freedom in order to get back to his family and connect again with his wife and daughter. While being an intense family drama, “For Life” also takes the time to examine the blatant flaws and challenges in the penal and legal systems today and showcases how current inmates are being treated every day. And with season 2, we were told to expect even more drama and emotion being showcased at the forefront and continuing to push forward in the depiction of the current prison system. And with this event, a virtual panel form was taken with Sade Baderinwa from WABV-TV New York as the moderator to get some insight on what fans can expect from the new season. According to stars from the show like Joy Bryant, Dorian Missick, and Tyla Harris, this season is taking on a lot. You will see aspects and storylines from Dorian’s character, Jamal, trying to mend ties with his sister all the way to Marie getting accustomed to her current life with Aaron being in prison. And this show even goes the next step by also addressing current political and racial issues that have transpired in the past year like the recent protests that have happened and touching on the whole Black Lives Matter movement.
The next part of the discussion featured Sade talking to the owners of the Black chefs who made the dinners for tonight’s event. In this discussion were Derek Robinson who is the marketing director of Black Restaurant Week LLC, Executive Chef Marquis Hayes from Brown Butter New York, Michael Carter from Down North Pizza, Mychel “Snoop” Dillard from Escobar, and Aaron Jones from The Original Taco Pete. All four owners have been previously incarcerated and are now owners of their own businesses and shaping the culinary landscape in the city they are in. Chef Marquis for example, spent 5 years in prison and after getting out, transitioned into being a chef. Now being the owner of Brown Butter New York, he wants to create the first Black culinary school where Black chefs can come and feel comfortable exploring their own food and understanding their culinary roots. Even Chef Michael Carter’s story of being in and out of prison was very telling of the current penal system especially with his last sentence being due to racial profiling causing him to stay on parole. And in partnership with Black Restaurant Week, these chefs were able to tell their story and shine bigger light on the current penal and legal systems and what measures they had to take in order to be where they are now. And Black Restaurant Week, first starting in Houston, has expanded into 11 other markets and is now hosting over 120 Black businesses in the Tri-State Area.