Black Restaurant Week highlighting Black culinary businesses in Arkansas

Local News

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — This week is Black Restaurant Week in Arkansas. The event highlights those who are in the Black culinary business, in hopes of bringing more awareness. 

Several states are participating with those in the southeast region event including Arkansas, Tennessee and Kentucky.

Black Restaurants Week is to showcase the long traditions of food, family and culture, and right now the focus is on Arkansas as the week is in full swing.

“Yes, this is so exciting,” The Boil owner, Renea Daniels said. 

FOX 16 decided to take a look at some of the places being featured in the event. 

“It’s bringing awareness to the local businesses and restaurants in town,” Rock City Kitchen Co-Owner Joe Gincent said. “Just identifying those, so you know how to support and where to find them at.”

This event started back in 2016 by Warren Luckett, Falayn Ferrell, and Derek Robinson, to celebrate African-American, African, and Caribbean cuisine with a series of events across the country. It’s the first time for the natural state.

The event’s website goes on to say: “Black Restaurant Week is committed to the education and awareness of the Black Culinary Industry in the United States of America. Using a combination model of awareness and education events, Black Restaurant Week will stimulate growth of African American owned culinary businesses and farms across the United States.”

“They’re checking out Arkansas, most people do not check out Arkansas,” Daniels said.

There are more than a handful of places participating across Central Arkansas, like Rock City Kitchen in Little Rock.

“One of the things that make Black restaurants different is we do our seasonings and our palette, our taste is kind of acquired for the seasoning,” Gincent said. 

The owner recently opened another restaurant called Rock City Taco in the River Market area of Little Rock. He said they branched out after having several Taco Tuesday events. 

As far as the food, it’s all about the seasoning. 

“Bringing that initial concept of flavor to Rock City Kitchen and some of our family traditional recipes and carrying those out, I think it’s very important to what we’re doing now,” Gincent said. 

Meanwhile in Maumelle another business is setting up shop Tuesday.

“We boil everything, we boil everything outside, we bring it up in a timely manner so it’s fresh,” The Boil Owners, Kaylon Daniels & Renea Daniels said. ”Our seasoning is homemade as well so it’s here from Arkansas.”

The boil is showing how they serve up their seafood dishes.

They’ve been operating their food truck since 2019 and are exited to be a part of this week’s event.

“For us it’s really more of the Cajun style, creole background for us,” Daniels said. “So we just love it, we love that they embrace Black anything.” 

Black Restaurant week runs until Sunday, May 23rd. Click HERE for the list of participating places.

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