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1st Annual Bridge Awards and Scholarship Gala
Honoring the Legacy of Black Chefs and Hospitality Professionals

DMV Black Restaurant Week's 1st Annual Awards and Scholarship Gala celebrates the legacy and influence of D.C. area chefs and hospitality professionals who paved the way and shaped the industry in a broad and meaningful way. It is a celebration of cuisine from the African Diaspora, and the launch of Black (Food) History Month. With curation led by author, host, and celebrity Executive Chef Rahman “Rock” Harper,  a 3-course dinner will be served featuring foods from the African Diaspora. Recipes honoring the past and the present are bound to delight everyone’s palate.

Chef Rock Harper, Event Culinary Curator
Rock Solid Food Group
Winner, Hell's Kitchen, Season 3
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Copy of Washington Informer
Denise Rolark Barnes
Chair, Washington Informer Charities 
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Furard Tate, Event Chair
Dr. Erinn Tucker
Andra Johnson
Co-founders, DMV Black Restaurant Week


Percentage of black head chefs and chief cooks employed within industry. Great strides have been made to expand opportunities and to increase diversity in the hospitality industry. And, there has been a significant increase in Black chefs at some of the highest Michelin-rated restaurants, locally and around the world. Yet, many of them go without recognition, and their stories remain untold.

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Bridge Award: Chef Clifford Thomas, a centenarian and one of the first black executive chefs for the J.W. Marriott Corporation, for his contributions that helped to increase diversity in the hospitality industry, particularly in corporate food management. Chef Thomas’s career spans more than 50 years at venues where he excelled, shared his love of food across generations, and positively influenced the culinary and hospitality landscape. 

Stanchion Award: Chef Terrell Danley Awarded to a local Chef, who is a veteran culinary instructor with a demonstrated passion for using food as a tool to change lives. This chef is honored for respecting culinary traditions and for tirelessly carrying on the legacy of exposing the next generation to the culinary arts.


Champion Award: Thompson Hospitality, Chairman, Warren Thompson Honoring a local, philanthropic business owner who is a champion in the hospitality industry, providing support, promoting diversity, and providing opportunities. 

Plexus Award: RAMW, President and CEO, Kathy E. Hollinger In appreciation for working to position businesses in the industry to succeed, grow, and thrive, this award is given to one who is a constant advocate for restaurants in the area and who strives to connect restauranteurs to opportunities for education, resources, and opportunities. (Plexus is a system or a network)




Scholarships will be awarded to culinary students graduating high school and current students attending local area culinary programs in spring 2020 to help them pursue culinary arts and hospitality education. 



Join us in this amazing night and experience Culture, Education, & Good Food at the 1st Annual Awards Dinner & Scholarship Gala presented by DMV Black Restaurant Week and Washington Informer Charities!


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