Virtual Arts Pass Event Chef Kwame Onwuachi @ 4p

A Culinary Conversation starring Chef Kwame Onwuachi with Chef Chris Hastings.

Join us for a live virtual culinary Q&A on Sunday, October 4 at 4pm CT / 5pm ET starring Rising Star Chef winner from the James Beard Foundation, Chef Kwame Onwauchi.

About Kwame Onwuachi // The title of Kwame Onwuachi’s remarkable memoir, “Notes From a Young Black Chef,” riffs on the name of a slim volume penned more than 15 years ago: “Letters to a Young Chef,” in which French farm boy turned Michelin man Daniel Boulud doles out advice to those with the nerve, masochism and heart to carve out a career in a professional kitchen.

If “Letters to a Young Chef” provides a sober perspective of what lies ahead for chefs, “Notes From a Young Black Chef” looks back on the difficult path that one tough kid from the Bronx took to reach his goal: becoming a chef in charge of a fine-dining restaurant, Kith and Kin inside the InterContinental at the Wharf, which has earned him the respect of critics and a new James Beard Award nomination for Rising Star Chef of the Year. Like Boulud’s book, Onwuachi’s memoir should be required reading, not just for future chefs, but for anyone who wants a glimpse into one man’s tale of what it’s like to be young, black and ambitious in America.

Onwuachi, 29, is the only son of a marriage that wasn’t meant to be. His mother, Jewel Robinson, became a chef and caterer after she lost her job as an accountant. His father, Patrick Onwuachi, is an architect whose own father was a respected professor at Howard University, prominent in the Pan-Africanism movement. Young Onwuachi’s life in the Bronx was a world of aromas — seafood gumbo and jambalaya from his mom’s side of the family in Louisiana; egusi stew and jerk chicken wings from his father’s side in Nigeria and Jamaica; even South Indian curries from a neighbor in the apartment building where he lived.

About Chris Hastings // Chris and Idie Hastings are chef and co-owners of Hot and Hot Fish Club in Birmingham, Alabama.  Housed in an historic building on Birmingham’s south side, the award-winning restaurant has earned a reputation for serving some of the most fresh and refined dishes in the region. OvenBird is Hastings’ live fire, casual restaurant located in Birmingham’s Market District at Pepper Place. Their menu focuses on the amazing seasonal southern ingredients and takes inspiration from the live-fire traditions of Spain, Portugal, Uruguay, Argentina and, of course, the American South.

Chris honed his skills at the Johnson & Wales Culinary School in Providence, Rhode Island. After graduation, he moved to Birmingham—where he and Idie met—and worked for Frank Stitt as Chef de Cuisine of Highlands Bar and Grill. Later, he also helped to open Stitt’s second restaurant in Birmingham, Bottega. In 1989, the couple moved to the Bay Area where Chris worked under Bradley Ogden to open the Lark Creek Inn in Larkspur, California. While on the west coast, Idie enrolled in the California Culinary Academy and could be found in the esteemed kitchens of Jeremiah Towers’ Stars Café, Wolfgang Puck’s Postrio and at Patisserie Francaise. In 1995, the Hastings opened the Hot and Hot Fish Club, which was one of the first farm to table restaurants east of the Mississippi.

A special VIP Meet and Greet will be held following the culinary conversation. For more information on the VIP experience, please email Savannah DeRieux at

A special thanks to our partner:

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