CELEBRITY CHEF EVENT CELEBRATES DIVERSITY IN HOSPITALITY

Salamander Hotels & Resorts and Chef Kwame Onwuachi teamed up with FOOD & WINE to host the first-of-its-kind experience at Salamander Resort & Spa

Photo Credit: Clay Williams

(Middleburg, VA, August 25, 2021) – This past weekend, Sheila Johnson’s Salamander Hotels & Resorts and Meredith Corporation’s FOOD & WINE hosted the inaugural Family Reunion presented by chef and author Kwame Onwuachi. 

The immersive, multi-day event celebrated diversity in the hospitality community through cooking classes and demonstrations, wine tastings and dinners, and thought-provoking panel discussions with world-class chefs, sommeliers, and industry leaders including Carla Hall, Rodney Scott, Padma Lakshmi, Gregory Gourdet, Mashama Bailey, Andre Fowles, and Pierre Thiam.

The Family Reunion took place from August 19 – 22, 2021 at Johnson’s Five-Star-rated Salamander Resort & Spa in Middleburg, Virginia, located in the heart of the state’s wine country and just one hour from Washington, D.C. Throughout the weekend, speakers, chefs, and sommeliers delved closely into the Black cooking traditions that have shaped cuisine in America, shared lessons from the past, and focused on building a better and more inclusive future. Virginia Ali of Ben’s Chili Bowl was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award, sponsored by Rémy Martin, while Dave Chappelle and Estelle also made special appearances. 

Held predominantly outdoors on Salamander Resort’s 340 sprawling acreage, attendees also had an opportunity to enjoy musical performances and indulge in several recreational activities like ziplining, ax throwing, and horseback riding led by celebrity participants. A limited attendance created opportunities for social distancing and appropriate safety protocols. 

The Family Reunion benefited from Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign to help end childhood hunger, while the event is also helping to create a mentorship and scholarship program to foster diversity in the hospitality industry.

The event enjoys sponsorship support from Rémy Martin, Lexus, Virginia Tourism Corporation, Brett Johnson Collection, United Airlines, Sheila Johnson Collection, Williams-Sonoma, Visit Loudoun, Resy and American Express, the Town of Middleburg, McBride Sisters Collection, and McEnearney Associates.

The Family Reunion is part of the expanding FOOD & WINE Classic network of events anchored by the celebrated FOOD & WINE Classic in Aspen, a mainstay in the culinary world for over three decades, as well as the recently launched FOOD & WINE Classic at Home virtual events, among others.


About Salamander Hotels & Resorts

Salamander Hotels & Resorts delivers comfortable luxury through signature, immersive experiences which enrich the lives of guests. The company is privately owned and operated, and based in Middleburg, VA, just outside Washington, D.C. Founded by entrepreneur Sheila Johnson in 2005, it has a luxury portfolio featuring the Forbes Five-Star Salamander Resort & Spa in Middleburg, a 340-acre equestrian-inspired property near Washington, D.C.; Half Moon, the iconic luxury resort in Montego Bay, Jamaica, which features three distinct resort experiences including the newly opened Eclipse; The Henderson, a 170-room grand beach resort in Destin, FL; Hotel Bennett, a spectacular 179-room hotel in Charleston, SC, overlooking the city’s historic Marion Square; and Innisbrook Resort in Tampa Bay, which hosts the PGA TOUR’s Valspar Championship each year on its Copperhead Course. All Salamander properties are members of Preferred Hotels & Resorts. For additional information visit www.SalamanderHotels.com.

About Salamander Resort & Spa

Salamander Resort & Spa is a Forbes Five-Star rated and LEED Green Building Certified resort situated on 340 picturesque acres in the historic village of Middleburg, Va. Located only one hour from Washington, D.C. and just 35 minutes from Washington Dulles International Airport, the resort is designed to respect the architectural traditions of Virginia’s countryside with 168 spacious rooms and suites that blend into their natural environment. Resort Owner Sheila C. Johnson has created a luxurious destination featuring an award-winning 23,000-square-foot spa, Harrimans Virginia Piedmont Grill, the Gold Cup Wine Bar, a dedicated Cooking Studio, a chef-inspired Culinary Garden as well as the adventurous Tree Top Zip Tour. The resort includes a full-service Equestrian Center with unique programming, a 22-stall stable, and a riding arena. All spa, culinary and equestrian facilities, and programs are open to the community. The resort is also developing Residences at Salamander, which offers 49 luxury, built-for-sale homes within a pristine landscape. For more information, visit www.SalamanderResort.com.

About FOOD & WINE

FOOD & WINE is the ultimate authority on the best of what’s new in food, drink, travel, design, and entertaining. FOOD & WINE has an extensive social media following on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube. FOOD & WINE includes a monthly magazine in print and digital; a website, foodandwine.com; a books division; plus newsletters, clubs, events, dinnerware, cookware, and more. At FOOD & WINE, we inspire and empower our wine and food-obsessed community to eat, drink, entertain and travel better—every day and everywhere. FOOD & WINE is part of Meredith Corp.’s (NYSE: MDP: Meredith.com) portfolio of best-in-class brands.

Contact: Matt Owen, VP of Communications, Salamander Hotels & Resorts

mowen@salamanderhotels.com | 843-991-0213

X