Zoe Adjonyoh – the chef behind Zoe's Ghana Kitchen – has launched Black Book, a global representation platform for Black and non-white people working within hospitality and food media.
Also behind the platform are journalist and academic Dr Anna Sulan Masing and communications consultant Frankie Reddin. The trio seek to inspire and empower people within Black and non-white communities through enhancing equality, equity and wealth creation worldwide, while raising consciousness of the issues affecting their ability to thrive in these industries.
Adjonyoh's travels to the US and specifically New York highlighted to her that the UK lacked collegiate representation and radical spaces for Black and non-white people working within food, with examples in the US including Black Food Folks, Radical Exchange and Equity At The Table.
She said: "To be in spaces curated by Black people, for Black people to be supported, network and connect at all levels of the industry, is my experience of the radical and collegiate Black communities in food and beverage in the States. The wider variety of platforms for diverse representation for a career in the States was the prime motivation for my impending move to New York.
"The absence of any such network in the UK left me frustrated and so I imagined what good representation and community would look like and the idea for Black Book was born back in late 2018."
The three founders will be combining their knowledge and experience of the industry to support people of these communities and advocate for the appropriate recognition, visibility and rewards for the work they do in hospitality. This will be achieved, for example, through brand partnerships, collaborations with institutions, community building and consultancy.
Black Book is running a series of talks to help the platform, alongside thought leaders and activists, identify and examine the key issues that need to be addressed. ‘De-colonising the food industry' is an eight-week series hosted as webinars on Zoom and IG Live every Sunday from 2pm-3.30pm.