The platform has created to inspire and empower through enhancing equality, equity and wealth creation worldwide within these communities whilst raising global consciousness of the issues affecting their ability to thrive in these industries.
Adjonyoh - the chef, author and activist behind Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen - is credited with initiating the project and is now supported by co-founders Masing, a journalist and academic, and Reddin, a communications consultant.
Two years in the making, the platform has been created to tackle the “obvious lack of representation and radical spaces within the UK for Black and non-white people working within food”.
Black Book says it does not see itself as the sole solution and wants to be the first of many platforms who work toward visibility, equality, equity and wealth creation for these communities.
Adjonyoh’s travels to the US and specifically New York, found that the UK lacked collegiate representation seen in platforms and collectives such as Black Food Folks, Radical Exchange and Equity At The Table.
“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 and 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,” says Adjonyoh.
“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 vision for Black Book was so large I needed to enlist a team who shared my concerns, shared in the idea for a solution and shared in the bold vision to de-colonise the food industry world wide and without delay I approached Anna and Frankie.”
The three founders combine their knowledge and experience of the industry from their individual perspectives to provide “the world’s premier talent and thought leadership platform” that aims to support achievement in personal and career growth objectives whilst advocating for those in the community to gain the appropriate recognition, visibility and rewards for the work they do in hospitality.
This will be achieved through brand partnerships, collaborations with institutions, community building, consultancy, amongst many other services and resources.
Black Book has designed 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 on Sunday afternoons.
Invited guests join Adjonyoh, Masing and resident panelists Eileen Twum (ex-management consultant and start-up executive who set up and launched the London arm of The Infatuation) and Fozia Ismail (academic, cook and founder of Arawelo Eats, a platform for exploring East African food), to examine different topics that get to the heart of these issues.
The talks are free and details of panellists and topics can be found on the website. Black Book encourages its audience to support via donations.