Oakland – The 5th annual Black Food & Wine Experience kicked off this weekend despite being on hiatus for the past two years. This evening a variety of new and returning African-American business owners in the food and wine industry showcased their best products for all to experience at Hive located in downtown Oakland.
“I wanted to make sure we are seen and heard in a field that is very marginalized,”said Chef Mimi. “The plan is to have this same experience across all urban cities where there are a lot of black restaurant tours, winemakers and just really bringing higher skills and offer work with our own restaurants and customer service.”
The Experience brought out almost 100 people to feast on food and wine. Alicia Kidd, the owner of Wine Noire, an import, export, and wholesale distribution company that launched in 2017. Wine Noire features black women who own wine distributions internationally and in the United States. Wine Noire will be opening up a retail store in downtown Oakland soon. This is Wine Noire’s second year as a vendor with the Black, Food & Wine Experience.
Hope aka Hella Juiced is a first time vendor at the Black, Food & Wine Experience. Her journey began in East Oakland, with limited healthy options available, Hope developed fresh food instead of fast food. She serves delicious fruit juices along with a sweet sangria mixed with fresh fruits. She refers to herself as your local “juice dealer.” You can find Hella Juiced on Instagram.
“I think the Black, Food & Wine Experience is amazing,” Hope said. “It’s full of wonderful entrepreneurs that I feel like will help me get to my juices available in stores, which is my main goal. I’m just excited to be here with a bunch of amazing vendors and can’t wait to see where this experience takes me.
Aminah Robinson -Briscoe aka Chef Mimi is the creator behind the Black, Food & Wine Experience. Chef Mimi brought black culture and food together to create an amazing experience for not just patrons but vendors to network and share their work. Chef Mimi has been well known for helping others achieve success.
Through Chef Mimi LLC, Chef Mimi has brought to life three distinct brands: The Black Food & Wine Experience, an interactive annual event that bridges food, beverage, education, health, and Black culture, “Bringing It to The Table,” the first culinary competition show highlighting the talent and passion of Black chefs, and Chef Mimi Catering, a boutique catering company that services Bay Area tech companies such as Facebook, Slack, Twilio and Lyft as well as non-profits and cultural events like the Coalition of Black Excellence and ESSENCE Festival.
“The vendors that you see here today, they’re providing great food, great wine and cocktails,” said Chef Mimi to the crowd. “We want you to really enjoy yourself because the last couple of years have been very difficult. But we’re back and we’re ready to give you an amazing experience today. Have a great time!”
Almost 40 different vendors were present for this year’s Black, Food & Wine Experience. The Burgess Brothers aka “ChurWaffle” created the world’s best desert waffle made from a cornbread mix. Three different Vegan restaurants, including “Tha MF’n Vegan” participated along with Home of Chicken & Waffles located in downtown Oakland.