This food fest is looking to showcase Miami’s black-owned restaurants

THE EVENT: The Black Pepper Food Festival is an all-day fest happening at The Urban in Overtown and will be one of the largest gatherings of black-owned restaurants, and food trucks in the City of Miami. More than 20 businesses will be represented ranging from soul food to vegan cuisine, and various kinds of fusion restaurants from across SoFlo.  

HOW IT CAME TOGETHER: The idea was the brainchild of Alexis Brown and Joel Franklin. Alexis has worked for years to organize young black professionals in Miami through her event company Social Xchange. And Joel has organized some of the biggest parties in town through his 2K Life Entertainment brand.

They wanted to organize an event that showcased black culinary professionals in a minority-owned space. And about six months ago they started planning.

“We wanted to create an event where people could practice group economics,” Alexis said. “Most of our black-owned restaurants aren’t usually invited to the table to participate in these events. So our idea was to create our own [event].”

Alexis and Joel chose The Urban, an events space in Overtown, as the location in an effort to involve the community in one of Miami’s oldest historically black neighborhoods.

“It continues to show that there’s a renaissance in historic Overtown. And it’s not just with development, it’s with the community,” said Keon Williams, assistant director of Urban Philanthropies.

WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT: Plenty of food from Overtown spots like Lil Greenhouse Grill, House of Wings, and Jackson Soul Food. And good eats from The New Vegan Art Cafe, House of Mac and plenty of other restaurants.

The event will also feature art, live music, cooking demonstrations and panel discussions on black economic development.

Alexis said the goal is also to identify as many black-owned restaurants as they can from Palm Beach County down to the 305.

“We’re going to create a ‘green book’ so that people can know where to go if they want to go to a black-owned restaurant,” she said.

HOW TO CHECK IT OUT: You can find more information on the festival here. The free event starts at 2 p.m. at The Urban (1000 NW 2nd Ave.) and is open to the public.