Food

Black Grill Masters Are Front & Center At Austin’s Black Food Week

By Danielle Dorsey

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Everything’s bigger in Texas — including the plates at Austin’s Black Food Week. The annual two-week event began on July 22nd and extends through August 3rd with a mission to uplift the legacies and innovations of Black-owned restaurants. As a direct response to a city that’s been rapidly gentrifying at the expense of low-income residents of color, Black Food Week reminds locals that Black-owned businesses are an essential fabric in the quilt of Austin’s self-proclaimed weirdness.

Organized by the Austin Justice Coalition, Austin Area Urban League Young Professionals + Black Foodies of Austin + #ATXinColor, this year’s food fest places emphasis on Black pitmasters and authentic Southern food, hoping to educate gastronomes on how African Americans shaped these popular cuisines.

The debate over which state boasts the best BBQ is unlikely to end any time soon, but one detail that needs to be acknowledged is the influence of enslaved Africans in pioneering this tasty cooking technique.

Collaborating with Native Americans in the 16th century, enslaved Africans introduced the New World to the art of jerking, salting, spicing, and smoking meats. Sadly, this history is often white-washed, with celebrity chefs like Guy Fieri easily earning their spots in the Barbeque Hall of Fame, while only three Black pitmasters have ever been recognized in 40 years of competition. Thankfully, Austin’s Black Food Week is helping Black pitmasters reclaim that narrative.

Included in this year’s festival are neighborhood staples like Sam’s BBQ, which was started by Black Austinite Sam Campbell in 1957 and Winner’s BBQ, which opened at the beginning of the year. 

There’s still a week left to join Austin’s Black Food Week, either by visiting during participating restaurants’ regular business hours or joining the organizers during “Eat and Greet” social hours. 

Here’s the remaining schedule for Austin’s Black Food Week. You can register for free ahead of time on the event’s official website

Friday 7/26

Sassy’s Vegetarian Soul Food

1819 E 12th St, Austin TX 78702

Tony’s Jamaican Food

1200 E 11th St, Austin 78702

J. Leonardi’s Barbeque

1124 E 11th St, Austin TX 78702

Saturday 7/27

Sam’s BBQ

2000 E 12th St, Austin TX 78702

Sunday 7/28

Winners BBQ Austin

800 W Pecan St, Pflugerville TX 78660

Week 2 Restaurants: 

Monday 7/29

Country Boyz Fixins

4140 E 12th St, Austin TX 78721

Tuesday 7/30

Baby Greens

1508 W Anderson Ln, Austin TX 78757

Wednesday 7/31

Bahadi’s Chicken & Lounge

907 Farm to Market 685, Pflugerville TX 78660

Thursday 8/1

Da Slice LLC

3505 N Interstate 35 Frontage Rd, Austin, TX 78722

Friday 8/2

Emojis Grilled Cheese Bar Domain Food Truck Court

My Granny’s Kitchen Domain Food Truck

Krack of Dawn Kafe Domain Food Truck Court

The Rolling Rooster Domain Food Truck Court

Grand Finale – Saturday 8/3

Wild Magnolias

15424 Farm to Market Rd 1825 #240. Pflugerville TX 78660 

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