Building a Black Food Community

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  • From £4 – £8 Concessions available

Food, recipes and communal eating.

This event takes place at the British Library.

Part of our African Caribbean Food Ways Day event. Book a day pass.

In the last couple of years there has been a push to build equity within the food communities of the Black diaspora. While the US has seen these communities thrive, the UK has seen food from the African and Caribbean communities operate in a vacuum. 

Yet it feels this is now changing, with organisations and Black-owned food markets paving the way. Our panel of Akwasi Brenya-Mensa, Lorraine Copes,  Jimi Famurewa and Jackson Mclarty talks about this wave, and looks back at how food of Black origin has been celebrated in the past.

This event is part of the British Library Food Season 2023

Jimi Famurewa is a British-Nigerian author, broadcaster and freelance journalist. His writing has appeared in the Guardian, Wired, GQ, Empire and Time Out London. He is the restaurant critic for the Evening Standard, regular guest judge on the BBC One series MasterChef and was also one of the lead judges on Channel 4’s The Great Cookbook Challenge with Jamie Oliver. He hosted 'Life on a Plate', the hit food podcast from Waitrose, and, in 2021, he won Restaurant Writer of the Year at both the Fortnum & Mason Awards and the Guild of Food Writers Awards. His first book, Settlers: Journeys through the Food, Faith and Culture of Black African London, was published by Bloomsbury in 2022 and was shortlisted for Foyles Non-Fiction Book of the Year. He lives in South-East London with his family.

Lorraine Copes is the founder of Be Inclusive hospitality, a not-for-profit organisation with a mission to accelerate race equity and equality within hospitality food and drink. It was set up because of the lack of representation of people of colour within leadership roles, and general visibility throughout the sector, despite making up over 17% of the hospitality population. It offers mentorships, last year hosted its inaugural awards and produces reports into the hospital sector. Originally from Birmingham and of Jamaican parentage, she was previously a Procurement Leader for brands including Corbin & King, Gordon Ramsay Restaurants and Shake Shack. She is now a procurement consultant for quality-led hospitality organisations and is a trained life coach. 

Jackson Mclarty is the founder of the UK’s first and only Black-owned restaurant directory, Black Eats LDN. Its partners include Uber, Apple, Mob, Havana Club, and Bacardi. Black Eats also hosts hugely popular markets featuring Black-owned food businesses covering food, beauty, clothing and literature.  Jackson has been featured in GQ, Vogue, Dazed, Timeout, Tatler, Buzzfeed, BBC, etc and has previously worked on brands including IKEA, Hertz, Bentley, Jaguar Land Rover, British Heart Foundation & Unicef.

Akwasi Brenya-Mensa is a Ghanaian-British chef and founder of pan-African restaurant Tatale, at the new Africa Centre in Southwark, London. Having begun his cooking education in his mother’s kitchen, his life as a global traveller as a DJ and in music management inspired him to set up supper clubs in the UK, and a training The Great British Menu’s champion of champions James Cochran at Restaurant 12:51.

This event will not be live-streamed.

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Name: Building a Black Food Community
Where: Piazza
The British Library
96 Euston Road
Show Map      How to get to the Library
When: -
Price: From £4 – £8
Concessions available
Enquiries: +44 (0)1937 546546
Book now

* Please note that there is a £1.50 transaction fee when tickets are posted, or for telephone sales when an e-ticket is requested.