Experience Celebrating Diversity in Hospitality to Take Place in August at Salamander Resort & Spa in Virginia

Program to Feature Industry Leaders, Including Carla Hall, Edouardo Jordan, Mashama Bailey, Nina Compton, Carlton McCoy and Gregory Gourdet

(New York, NY and Middleburg, VA; February 3, 2021) – Meredith Corporation’s (NYSE: MDP) FOOD & WINEand Sheila Johnson’s Salamander Hotels & Resorts announce the debut of The Family Reunion presented by Kwame Onwuachi, a multi-day event that will celebrate 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, Edouardo Jordan, Nina Compton, Carlton McCoy, Gregory Gourdet, Mashama Bailey, Rodney Scott, Tavel Bristol-Joseph, Pierre Thiam and more.

Co-hosted by chef and author Kwame Onwuachi and Salamander Hotels & Resorts Founder & CEO Sheila Johnson, The Family Reunion will take place 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. 

Kwame Onwuachi, chef at Kith/Kin in Washington, D.C., on June 18, 2019. A young Top Chef star, the 29-year-old is blending his Nigerian heritage with influences from his Bronx upbringing for the varied menu at Kith/Kin. CREDIT: T.J. Kirkpatrick for The New York Times

Event tickets will go on sale in April at www.SalamanderHotels.com/FamilyReunion. Resort packages and individual ticket options will be available, while specific programming will also be unveiled at that time.* 

Nurturing, developing and celebrating racial and ethnic diversity within the next generation of hospitality professionals is a core part of the mission of the event. In addition to experiences taking place throughout the 340-acre property’s outdoor event spaces, Cooking Studio, Culinary Garden and restaurants, there will be a center stage venue hosting a rotating lineup of presentations and panel discussions. Throughout the weekend, speakers, chefs and sommeliers will delve closely into the Black cooking traditions that have shaped cuisine in America, share lessons from the past, and focus on building a better and more inclusive future.  

A portion of the proceeds will be used to create a mentorship and scholarship program which fosters diversity in the hospitality industry, as well as to support efforts to help end childhood hunger.

The only African-American woman to wholly own a Forbes Five-Star resort, Sheila Johnson is renowned as the co-founder of Black Entertainment Television and is also a partner in Monumental Sports & Entertainment. As CEO and founder of Salamander Hotels & Resorts, which manages luxury properties in the US and the Caribbean, she has spoken frequently about the need for greater diversity within the hospitality industry.

“Our remarkable, constantly renewing and evolving industry is as diverse as any other,” said Johnson. “But, we can, and should do more. Therefore, I’m immensely proud to partner with FOOD & WINE and Kwame Onwuachi and delighted Salamander Resort & Spa can provide a platform for thoughtful discussion about inclusion.”  

Sheila Johnson – Photo by Drew Xeron

Leading up to the event, Onwuachi, who is also a 2019 FOOD & WINE Best New Chef and the author of the culinary memoir Notes from a Young Black Chef, will spend nine days in residency at the resort,where he will be cooking food based on his Afro-Caribbean heritage.

“We should be doing everything in our power to celebrate diversity in our industry,” said Onwuachi. “For too long we have gone unnoticed and under-appreciated. This is our time.”

The Family Reunion Presented by Kwame Onwuachi is part of the expanding FOOD & WINE Classic network of events that’s anchored by the celebrated FOOD & WINE Classic in Aspen, a mainstay of the culinary world for over three decades, as well as the recently launched FOOD & WINE Classic at Home virtual events, among others. Created in collaboration with Salamander Hotels & Resorts, FOOD & WINE will bring its expertise in editorial event production to the creation of The Family Reunion and share stories about the event in print, on foodandwine.com and on F&W Pro, a business content vertical for the hospitality industry.

Hunter Lewis – Photo by Ramona Rosales

FOOD & WINE Editor in Chief Hunter Lewis said, “We’re grateful to Kwame for bringing the idea of The Family Reunion to FOOD & WINE and thrilled to partner with him, Sheila, and the team at Salamander Hotels & Resorts to help produce the inaugural event in Virginia’s beautiful wine country. The event’s mission aligns with FOOD & WINE’s commitment to empowering and uplifting more diverse voices in the culinary and food media industries.” 

The Family Reunion enjoys sponsorship support of Virginia Tourism Corporation, Lexus and the Brett Johnson Collection.

* The event will follow appropriate COVID-19 health and safety measures in conjunction with CDC and state guidelines.

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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 riding arena. All spa, culinary and equestrian facilities and programs are open to the community. For more information, visit www.SalamanderResort.com


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