Middleburg, Virginia

Presented by award-winning chef and author Kwame Onwuachi, The Family Reunion is a first-of-its-kind food event, inspired by the time-honored family reunions of his ancestors, as well as the culinary and cultural heritage of his Afro-Caribbean roots.

The inaugural multi-day celebration of diversity in the hospitality industry, was in August of 2021 at Salamander Resort & Spa in Middleburg, Virginia, in the state's picturesque horse and wine country.

In partnership with FOOD & WINE and Sheila C. Johnson, Founder and CEO of Salamander Hotels & Resorts, the groundbreaking annual event featured cooking demos, wine tastings, exclusive dinners and discussions with industry leaders. Past panel guests include Carla Hall, Nina Compton, Carlton McCoy, Mashama Bailey, Rodney Scott, Gregory Gourdet, Tavel Bristol-Joseph and Pierre Thiam.

In addition to celebrating the Black and Brown cooking traditions that have shaped American cuisine, The Family Reunion also showcases the next generation of food and wine professionals currently moving the industry forward.

Sheila and Kwame

Sign Up for 2022 Event Updates

We are thrilled about the success of the inaugural Family Reunion and are already beginning to plan for next year’s gathering. Details, including event dates, will be announced soon. In the meantime, sign up to stay up to date on The Family Reunion 2022.

Kwame Onwuachi

Kwame Onwuachi is a James Beard Award-winning chef, and author of the critically acclaimed memoir “Notes from a Young Black Chef,” which is being turned into a feature film by A24. Kwame's resume is incomparable: he has been named one of Food & Wine's Best New Chefs, Esquire Magazine's 2019 Chef of the Year, and is a 30 Under 30 honoree by both Zagat and Forbes. He's also been featured on Time's 100 Next List and has been named the most important Chef in America by the San Francisco Chronicle.

“I noticed a void in the industry, especially for the amplification of Black and Brown voices and their contributions to the food industry. I always pictured an event that was centered around them.”

Kwame Onwuachi
Kwame cooking
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2021 Featured Talent

Nyesha Joyce Arrington

Chef and Host, Happy Mouth Podcast
Day 2 / August 20
Mashama Bailey Read more
photo by Chia Chong

Mashama Bailey

Executive Chef, The Grey
Day 2, 3 / August 20, 21
Dawn Burrell Read more
photo by Jenn Duncan

Dawn Burrell

Chef/Partner Late August Restaurant & Lucille's Hospitality Group
Day 1, 2 / August 19, 20

Tavel Bristol-Joseph

Pastry Chef / Partner of Emmer & Rye, Henbit, TLV, Hestia and Kalimotxo
Day 2 / August 20
Nina Compton Read more
photo by Denny Culbert

Nina Compton

Chef, Compère Lapin and Bywater American Bistro
James Beard Award-Winning Chef
Day 2, 3 / August 20, 21

Tiffany Derry

Chef and Owner | Roots Chicken Shak, Roots Southern Table
Founder Tiffany Derry Concepts
Co-Founder | T2D Concepts
Day 2, 3 / August 20, 21

Michael Elégbèdé

Chef/Owner, ÌTÀN
Day 2, 3 / August 20, 21

Andre Fowles

Chef, 3X Food Network
"Chopped" Champion
Miss Lily's
Day 2, 3 / August 20, 21

Bryan Furman

Chef/Owner, Pit Master, Bryan Furman BBQ
Day 1, 2 / August 19, 20

Tiana Gee

Private Chef and Caterer
Day 1, 2 / August 19, 20

Gregory Gourdet

James Beard Award Nominated Chef and Owner, Kann
Day 2, 3 / August 20, 21
Jon Gray Read more
photo by Leilani Foster

Jon Gray

Co-Founder, Ghetto Gastro
Day 3 / August 21

Carla Hall

Chef, Restaurateur, Author
Day 3 / August 21

Dr. Jessica B. Harris

Food Historian, Award-Winning Author, Journalist
Day 3 / August 21

Rashida Holmes

Chef and Owner, Bridgetown Roti
Day 1, 2 / August 19, 20
Priya Krishna Read more
photo by Edlyn D'Souza

Priya Krishna

New York Times Food Writer
Day 3 / August 21

Vallery Lomas

Baker, Author and Winner of Great American Baking Show
Day 2, 3 / August 20, 21

Carlton McCoy

Master Sommelier, Managing Partner, Heitz Cellars and Lexus Culinary Master
Day 2, 3 / August 20, 21

Peter Prime

Chef/Owner, Cane D.C.
Day 2 / August 20

Jonathan "Jonny" Rhodes

James Beard Award Nominated Chef, Executive Chef and Owner, Indigo
Day 3 / August 21

JR Robinson

Chef & Owner, Kitchencray
Day 1 / August 19

Jamila Robinson

Food Media Leader and Food Editor, Philadelphia Inquirer
Day 3 / August 21
Rodney Scott Read more
photo by Angie Mosier

Rodney Bryant Scott

James Beard Award-Winning Chef and Pitmaster, Founder & Owner, Rodney Scott’s Whole Hog BBQ
Day 1, 2 / August 19, 20

Pierre Serrao

Chef/Co-Founder, Ghetto Gastro
Day 2 / August 20

Ashleigh Shanti

James Beard Award Nominated Chef
Day 1, 2 / August 19, 20

Alexander Bernard Smalls

James Beard Award-Winning Chef, Restaurateur and Author
Day 2 / August 20

Pierre Thiam

Chef/Restaurateur/Author
Day 2, 3 / August 20, 21

Erick Williams

Chef/Owner, Virtue Restaurant & Bar
Day 3 / August 21

Julia Coney

Sommelier, Wine, Travel & Lifestyle Journalist, Wine Educator, Speaker, Consultant at Julia Coney, LLC, Founder of Black Wine Professionals
DAY 2 / AUGUST 20

Nadine Brown

Sommelier, Founder of At Your Service
DAY 2 / AUGUST 20

Virginia Ali

Chef and Founder, Ben’s Chili Bowl
DAY 2, 3 / AUGUST 20, 21
Nolan Williams, Jr. Read more
photo by Marvin Joseph

Nolan Williams, Jr.

American Composer, CEO of NEWorks Productions
Day 2, 3 / August 20, 21
Grace the Musical Read more
Photo by Marvin Joseph

Grace the Musical

Composed by Nolan Williams, Jr.
DAY 3 / AUGUST 21

The Family Reunion Wine Talent

DAY 1, 2, 3 / AUGUST 19, 20, 21
Wine Talent Read more
photo by Inez and Vinoodh

Padma Lakshmi

Television Host, Producer and The New York Times Best-Selling Author
Day 2, 3 / August 20, 21

Our 2021 Partners

Vineyards at Boxwood Estate Winery
Brett Johnson

The Family Reunion enjoys sponsorship support from FOOD & WINE, Rémy Martin, Lexus, Virginia Tourism Corporation, Brett Johnson Collection, United Airlines, Sheila Johnson Collection, Williams-Sonoma, Visit Loudoun, Resy and American Express, the Town of Middleburg, McBride Sisters Collection and McEnearney Associates.

2021 Event Schedule

Day 1 Thu

August 19, 2021

9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Salamander Resort & Spa

Lexus Drive Experience

Enjoy Lexus as a passenger or driver with this complimentary, 30-minute drive experience. Please visit the Lexus desk to sign up.

1:00 - 5:00 pm
Middleburg Terrace

Welcome Reception: The Cook Out

Rodney Scott and Bryan Furman will be cooking a full pit BBQ while Ben's Chili Bowl will be slinging half-smokes. From ribs to collards to banana pudding, there will be something for everyone, including wine curated by Julia Coney to compliment the smoke show.

Hosted by Ben's Chili Bowl and pitmasters Bryan Furman and Rodney Scott

5:00 - 10:00 pm
Middleburg

Town of Middleburg Restaurant Takeover

Featuring Tiana Gee, Dawn Burrell, Rashida Holmes and Ashleigh Shanti

To reserve, please call the participating Town Takeover Restaurants directly.

Town Takeover is not included in the overnight package or multi day-only pass.
Reservations are recommended.

10:00 pm - 1:00 am
Living Room

After Glow: Rémy Martin Sidecar Lounge

 

 

Day 2 Fri

August 20, 2021

7:00 - 9:00 am
Living Room

Continental Breakfast

9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Salamander Resort & Spa

Lexus Drive Experience

Enjoy Lexus as a passenger or driver with this complimentary, 30-minute drive experience. Please visit the Lexus desk to sign up.

9:00 am
Grand Stage

Representation Matters: Has it Worked?

Moderated by Melyssa Ford with Jon Gray and Erick Williams

10:15 - 11:15 am
Grand Stage

Old Guard to New Trope: Passing the Torch

With Alexander Smalls, Tiana Gee, Dawn Burrell, Rashida Holmes and Ashleigh Shanti

11:30 am - 12:30 pm
Grand Stage

Restaurant Crisis: More Than A Chef

With Dine Diaspora, Nina Compton, Pierre Serrao and Gregory Gourdet

1:00 - 3:00 pm
Middleburg Terrace

Family-Style Lunch

Hosted by Erick Williams, Tavel Bristol-Joseph and Vallery Lomas

BREAKOUT SESSIONS

*pre-registration required

3:30 - 5:00 pm
Delaplane Terrace

Shaken & Stirred – Interactive Mixology Class

Presented by Cointreau
Led by Shannon Mustipher

3:30 - 5:00 pm
Harrimans Firepit

Jerk: The Dish That Freed a Nation

Led by Andre Fowles and Peter Prime

3:30 - 5:00 pm
Lower Culinary Garden

The History of Suya

Led by Pierre Thiam and Michael Elégbèdé

3:30 - 5:00 pm
Upper Culinary Garden

BBQ 101

Led by Rodney Scott and Bryan Furman

3:30 - 5:00 pm
Library

Conversation with Padma Lakshmi

Discussing her new book, Tomatoes for Neela
Moderated by Angela Rye

3:30 - 5:00 pm
Middleburg Terrace

Grace the Musical: Welcome to Our Table

Led by Nolan Williams, Jr.

3:30 - 5:00 pm
Equestrian Center

Equestrian Trot

Led by Kwame Onwuachi

3:30 - 5:00 pm
Salamander Resort & Spa

Ziplining

Led by Gregory Gourdet

3:30 - 5:00 pm
Salamander Resort & Spa

Axes and Archery

Led by Mashama Bailey

3:30 - 6:00 pm
Delaplane Cellars

Black-Owned Wine Tasting

Led by Carlton McCoy, Nadine Brown and Julia Coney

6:00 - 10:00 pm
Grand Stage

African Night Market

Join us as we celebrate African culture with food curated by some of the best African chefs in the world. Enjoy dancers, drummers, African food, a dance floor and more.

Food by: Pierre Thiam, Kwame Onwuachi, Michael Elégbèdé, J.R. Robinson, and Peter Prime

10:00 pm - 12:00 am
Culinary Garden

Night Cap: The Wine Down

Hosted by Carlton McCoy

10:00 pm - 1:00 am
Living Room

After Glow: Rémy Martin Sidecar Lounge

 

 

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Day 3 Sat

August 21, 2021

7:00 - 9:00 am
Living Room

Continental Breakfast

9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Salamander Resort & Spa

Lexus Drive Experience

Enjoy Lexus as a passenger or driver with this complimentary, 30-minute drive experience. Please visit the Lexus desk to sign up.

9:00 am
Grand Stage

West Africa and How it Inspired a Globe

With Jamila Robinson, Michael Elégbèdé, Vallery Lomas and Pierre Thiam

10:15 - 11:15 am
Grand Stage

The Things We Do For Love

With Padma Lakshmi and Carla Hall

11:30 am - 12:30 pm
Grand Stage

Stories from the Matriarch and Friends: Then vs Now

With Nyesha Arrington, Virginia Ali, Tiffany Derry, Mashama Bailey

1:00 - 3:00 pm
Middleburg Terrace

Family-Style Lunch

Hosted by Mashama Bailey, Jonny Rhodes, Gregory Gourdet and Jason Reaves

3:30 - 6:30 pm
Grand Stage

Special Presentations

 

3:30 - 3:45 pm
Grand Stage

Share Our Strength No Kid Hungry Presentation

Working to end hunger and poverty, Share Our Strength’s Elliott Gaskins joins Chefs Kwame Onwuachi and Tiffany Derry for a brief reflection on the power of food, community, and why they support No Kid Hungry.

3:45 - 4:00 pm
Grand Stage

A Performance by Grace The Musical

Conceived and composed by Nolan Williams, Jr. Featured cast performers: Nova Payton and Virginia Woodruff, accompanied by Paul Byssainthe, Jr.

We all need a little grace a new musical
4:00 - 4:30 pm
Grand Stage

Lifetime Achievement Award

Sponsored by Remy Martin and presented by Dr. Jessica B. Harris honoring Virginia Ali

5:30 - 6:30 pm
Grand Stage

Talent Book Signing

Moderated by Nyesha Arrington with Virginia Ali, Tiffany Derry, and Mashama Bailey

6:00 - 10:00 pm
Middleburg Terrace

Block Party

There is no better way to cap off a Family Reunion than a Block Party. Join us as we dance the night away to the tunes of a special guest while feeding our soul with delicious food from Kwame Onwuachi, Tiffany Derry, Nina Compton and Andre Fowles.

10:00 pm - 12:00 am
Culinary Garden

Night Cap: The Wine Down

Hosted by Carlton McCoy with food provided by Lamar Moore

10:00 pm - 1:00 am
Living Room

After Glow: Rémy Martin Sidecar Lounge

 

 

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Day 4 Sun

August 22, 2021

9:00 am - 11:00 am
Salamander Resort & Spa

Lexus Drive Experience

Enjoy Lexus as a passenger or driver with this complimentary, 30-minute drive experience. Please visit the Lexus desk to sign up.

10:00 - 10:45 am
Grand Stage

Sunday Service With Baltimore Urban Inspiration Choir

Uplifting gospel music by Baltimore Urban Inspiration Choir.

Baltimore Urban Inspriational Choir

COVID-19 Protocols

 

The safety of our attendees, staff and community are of the highest priority. Therefore, in response to a nationwide increase in cases, we have updated our COVID-19 protocols:

  • The vast majority of our events and activities are being held outdoors at Salamander Resort & Spa, which is set on 340 acres.
  • Our inaugural capacity is limited to a few hundred attendees to enable everyone to more easily socially distance.
  • Irrespective of your vaccination status, all attendees must present a negative COVID-19 PCR or Rapid Antigen test upon arrival to receive your event pass. Your test must be dated with 72 hours of your arrival time. This applies for both weekend guests and evening event-only guests.
  • All attendees must wear masks inside unless actively eating or drinking.
  • All attendees must wear masks outside, unless actively eating or drinking or socially distanced by six feet.
  • Unvaccinated guests should wear masks at all times, not already covered by the above.
  • We will perform a daily temperature check.
  • Salamander service staff, chefs and talent will wear masks throughout the duration of the event.
  • We will have a mobile check-in available to overnight guests.

Event regulations, policies and protocols are under constant review. Please view Salamander Resort & Spa’s extensive list of COVID protocols and its Commitment to Well-Being.

Press Contact

For media inquiries related to The Family Reunion, please contact Matt Owen, Vice President of Communications for Salamander Hotels & Resorts at [email protected].

Content Library

CBS This Morning: Black chefs showcase their history, share their culture and bond through food
08/20/2021

CBS This Morning: Black chefs showcase their history, share their culture and bond through food

My Town: Sheila Johnson’s Middleburg, Virginia
08/20/2021

My Town: Sheila Johnson’s Middleburg, Virginia

Kidd Around Town: 'The Family Reunion' food conference at Salamander Resort & Spa
08/19/2021

Kidd Around Town: 'The Family Reunion' food conference at Salamander Resort & Spa

Family Reunion Food Festival Centers on Black Culinary Experiences
08/09/2021

Family Reunion Food Festival Centers on Black Culinary Experiences

Best Practices: Virginia Hotelier Sheila Johnson Knows Diversity is Good For Business
08/06/2021

Best Practices: Virginia Hotelier Sheila Johnson Knows Diversity is Good For Business

Where To Travel In August
07/30/2021

Where To Travel In August

Sheila Johnson’s Salamander Resorts Partners With Celebrity Chefs To Celebrate Diversity In Hospitality
07/23/2021

Sheila Johnson's Salamander Resorts Partners With Celebrity Chefs To Celebrate Diversity In Hospitality

Tickets Are Now on Sale for Star-Packed Family Reunion Event in Virginia Wine Country
06/29/2021

Tickets Are Now on Sale for Star-Packed Family Reunion Event in Virginia Wine Country

Uproxx article
04/01/2021

Kwame Onwuachi Talks 'Top Chef,' The Future Of Restaurants, And Storytelling On The Plate

Travel + Leisure article
02/07/2021

'Food & Wine' and Salamander Hotels Partner for 4-day Event Celebrating Diversity in Hospitality

Luxury Travel Advisor article
02/04/2021

Salamander Resort & Spa to Host Culinary-Themed Diversity Event

Northern Virginia Magazine article
02/04/2021

Big-name chefs are coming to Middleburg's Salamander Resort & Spa

Loudoun Times article
02/04/2021

Middleburg's Salamander Resort to co-host diversity in hospitality event this summer

Departures article
02/04/2021

'Food & Wine' and Salamander Hotels Just Launched a Four-Day Event Celebrating Diversity With Some of the Biggest Names in the Industry

Food & Wine article
02/03/2021

Kwame Onwuachi to Host Inaugural 'Family Reunion' Event in Virginia Wine Country

Travel Pulse article
02/03/2021

Salamander Resort & Spa, Kwame Onwuachi To Host 'Family Reunion' Event

Biz Journals article
02/03/2021

Chef Kwame Onwuachi to host celebration of Black cooking and hospitality at Salamander Resort

Salamander Destinations

Salamander Resort

500 North Pendleton St
Middleburg, VA 20117

The Henderson

200 Henderson Resort Way
Destin, FL 32541

Hotel Bennett

404 King St
Charleston, SC 29403

Half Moon

Montego Bay
St James
Jamaica WI

InnisBrook

36750 U.S. Highway
19 North
Palm Harbor, FL 34684