Madison restaurants are getting ready for Black Restaurant Week, starting this Saturday, Aug. 12 and running through Aug. 19.
This is only the third ever Black Restaurant Week, and it has already grown from last year. This year's event is dedicated to the memory of Chef Rod Ladson, Bonefish Grill owner-manager, who died in July.
“More than two dozen food vendors are participating in the 2018 Black Restaurant Week sponsored by the Madison Black Chamber of Commerce. In our third year we have 10 brick-and-mortar restaurants, 7 food carts, 4 catering services and 4 dessert specialties,” event organizer Milele Chikasa Anana said.
New restaurants this year include Anointed One, specializing in soul food, and Kingdom Restaurant, a fast food place.
The 10 restaurants are located all over Madison and include That BBQ Joint, Buraka and Jamerica on Willy Street; McGee’s Chicken on Park Street; Falbo Bros Pizza on Sherman Avenue; Anointed One and The Wing King on the far west side and Kingdom Restaurant on the east side. Also participating are George’s Chicken & Fish in Sun Prairie and David’s Jamaican Cuisine in Monona.
This year's theme is "authentic food," and several restaurants will offer specials reflecting that theme. That BBQ Joint is preparing a never-before-served seafood gumbo for Black Restaurant Week. Kingdom Restaurant will have jerk chicken and fufu (an African staple food made from cassava and green plantain flour) as a special. Anointed One will have a chicken special, Buraka will have a sampler plate of Ethiopian food and Wing King will have a wing plate.
Even if diners can't get out to a restaurant, they can take part in Black Restaurant Week through several catering companies, such as Mo’ Betta Butter Cookies and Kipp’s Cuisine Catering.
“We are asking that customers use the caterers for their office parties, birthdays, reunions and other get-togethers during Black Restaurant Week," Anana said. "The dessert specialties can be used as a separate caterer for any occasion or event."
Black Restaurant Week is partnering with FUDUworks, a food delivery service for workplaces, so customers can order from participating restaurants using the FUDU app. Black Restaurant Week is an event sponsored by the Madison Black Chamber of Commerce as a way of bringing attention to the overall economic impact from black-owned businesses in Madison, according to Anana.
“This is a bold statement that black business owners are an asset to the local Madison community,” she said.