Middleburg Virginia

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.


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

Three Eye-catching Summer Looks

Three Eye-catching Summer Looks

Plus The Scoop on Shopping The Sidewalk Sales in Middleburg 

Story and photos by Jennifer Gray 

One of my favorite places to shop in Hunt Country is Chloe’s of Middleburg. They have the best trends and appeal to an extensive age range of women. It’s the kind of place I like visiting with another girlfriend. We rummage through the store, stockpiling eclectic styles, saying over and over, “Look how cute this is!” and rush off to the fitting rooms. Once there, we find ourselves crossing our fingers that we don’t like everything we’ve collected because that will probably mean we’re breaking the budget this month!

I stopped by recently to see what Chloe’s had in stock that may be suitable for three different occasions coming up on my calendar. Check out my looks (modeled by Chloe herself) on the streets of Middleburg.


• Kaftan in a light blue and white e-kat print with dramatic fringe details
Sandals are handmade with neon colors and tiny charm dangles
Middleburg bag and blanket exclusively made by Chloe’s
The necklace is a gold locket with bee detail by Susan Shaw
Micro-bracelets by Caryn Lawn


  • Short sleeve dress by La Plage in a neon e-kat print
  • Beach Birkin bag by Anca Barbu
  • Tulip flats in the camelia color are designed by Ilse Jacobsen and come in a stretchy slip-on recycled material
  • Gold coin necklace by Susan Shaw


  • Spaghetti strap maxi dress in olive green cheetah print is by Brand Bizarre
  • Custom design denim jacket made from a scarf featuring a tiger with butterflies and unique cuff and print details
  • Camera bag with hand-beaded details and removable crossbody straps by Mary Frances
  • Heels in nude by Sam Edelman
  • Necklace with skull head in gun-metal

Don’t miss Middleburg’s annual Summer Sidewalk Sale on August 6-8. The sale will be held Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Sunday as posted by shops.

Shops with good sales include Crème de la Crème (pottery, ceramics, linens), Chloe’s of Middleburg (women’s clothing boutique) Tully Rector (shoes, clothing, accessories, and beauty products), Zest (clothing and accessories), Lou Lou Too (accessories), C.D. Rigden & Son Country Classics (men’s and women’s clothing), Moda Lookbook (women’s clothing), The Christmas Sleigh (gifts and collectibles) and many more. Emmanuel Episcopal Church will be hosting a sale featuring new and used items from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. on Saturday, and on Sunday from noon – 4 p.m.

At the west end, check out The Fun Shop (children’s clothing, party goods, decorative gifts), J.McLaughlin (clothing and accessories), PLAYroom (toy store), Highcliffe Clothiers (men’s and women’s clothing), and Stitch (needlepoint shop) also located on the west end of town. Le Boudoir (lingerie) and the Community Shop (consignment) are located on Madison Street. The Tack Box will be offering discounts on equestrian-related products such as riding gear and gifts.

The National Sporting Library & Museum on The Plains Road and Middleburg’s fine restaurants scattered along Washington Street and

Federal Street offers a lovely respite from bargain hunting. There are several outdoor dining and curbside pick-up options available. Restaurants in town include The Red Fox Inn (contemporary American food), Cuppa Giddy Up (coffee and tea), Scruffy’s Ice Cream Parlor, Red Horse Tavern, The Bistro at Goodstone Inn, Middleburg Common Grounds (coffee, tea, and sandwiches), Market Salamander (gourmet market and café), Middleburg Deli (sandwiches), Mt. Defiance Cidery & Distillery, Old Ox Brewery, Gold Cup Wine Bar, Harrimans Virginia Piedmont Grill, Side Saddle Café (farm market and café), Teddy’s Pizza (pizza and subs), Wild Hare Cider Pub, Upper Crust Bakery, Best Thai Kitchen, Thaiverse 2, Red Bar Sushi, and King Street Oyster Bar. ML

Visit visitmiddleburgva.com or facebook.com/MiddleburgBusiness for event updates on the sidewalk sale.

This article first appeared in the August 2021 Issue.