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Kwame Onwuachi and Sheila Johnson's Salamander Hotels & Resorts team up with FOOD & WINE to create The Family Reunion

(New York, NY and Middleburg, VA;)  Meredith Corporation’s (NYSE: MDP) FOOD & WINE and Sheila Johnson’s Salamander Hotels & Resorts announce the debut of The Family Reunion presented by Kwame Onwuachi, a multi-day event that will celebrate diversity in the hospitality community through cooking classes and demonstrations, wine tastings and dinners, and thought-provoking panel discussions with world-class chefs, sommeliers and industry leaders including Carla Hall, Edouardo Jordan, Nina Compton, Carlton McCoy, Gregory Gourdet, Mashama Bailey, Rodney Scott, Tavel Bristol-Joseph, Pierre Thiam and more.

Co-hosted by chef and author Kwame Onwuachi and Salamander Hotels & Resorts Founder & CEO Sheila Johnson, The Family Reunion will take place August 19 – 22, 2021 at Johnson’s Five-Star-rated Salamander Resort & Spa in Middleburg, Virginia, located in the heart of the state’s wine country and just one hour from Washington, D.C.

Event tickets will go on sale in April at Resort packages and individual ticket options will be available, while specific programming will also be unveiled at that time.*

Nurturing, developing and celebrating racial and ethnic diversity within the next generation of hospitality professionals is a core part of the mission of the event. In addition to experiences taking place throughout the 340-acre property’s outdoor event spaces, Cooking Studio, Culinary Garden and restaurants, there will be a center stage venue hosting a rotating lineup of presentations and panel discussions. Throughout the weekend, speakers, chefs and sommeliers will delve closely into the Black cooking traditions that have shaped cuisine in America, share lessons from the past, and focus on building a better and more inclusive future.  

A portion of the proceeds will be used to create a mentorship and scholarship program which fosters diversity in the hospitality industry, as well as to support efforts to help end childhood hunger.

The only African-American woman to wholly own a Forbes Five-Star resort, Sheila Johnson is renowned as the co-founder of Black Entertainment Television and is also a partner in Monumental Sports & Entertainment. As CEO and founder of Salamander Hotels & Resorts, which manages luxury properties in the US and the Caribbean, she has spoken frequently about the need for greater diversity within the hospitality industry.

“Our remarkable, constantly renewing and evolving industry is as diverse as any other,” said Johnson. “But, we can, and should do more. Therefore, I’m immensely proud to partner with FOOD & WINE and Kwame Onwuachi and delighted Salamander Resort & Spa can provide a platform for thoughtful discussion about inclusion.”

Leading up to the event, Onwuachi, who is also a 2019 FOOD & WINE Best New Chef and the author of the culinary memoir Notes from a Young Black Chef, will spend nine days in residency at the resort, where he will be cooking food based on his Afro-Caribbean heritage.

“We should be doing everything in our power to celebrate diversity in our industry,” said Onwuachi. “For too long we have gone unnoticed and under-appreciated. This is our time.”

The Family Reunion Presented by Kwame Onwuachi is part of the expanding FOOD & WINE Classic network of events that’s anchored by the celebrated FOOD & WINE Classic in Aspen, a mainstay of the culinary world for over three decades, as well as the recently launched FOOD & WINE Classic at Home virtual events, among others. Created in collaboration with Salamander Hotels & Resorts, FOOD & WINE will bring its expertise in editorial event production to the creation of The Family Reunion and share stories about the event in print, on and on F&W Pro, a business content vertical for the hospitality industry.

FOOD & WINE Editor in Chief Hunter Lewis said, “We’re grateful to Kwame for bringing the idea of The Family Reunion to FOOD & WINE and thrilled to partner with him, Sheila, and the team at Salamander Hotels & Resorts to help produce the inaugural event in Virginia’s beautiful wine country. The event’s mission aligns with FOOD & WINE’s commitment to empowering and uplifting more diverse voices in the culinary and food media industries.” 

The Family Reunion enjoys sponsorship support from Virginia Tourism Corporation, Lexus and the Brett Johnson Collection.

* The event will follow appropriate COVID-19 health and safety measures in conjunction with CDC and state guidelines.


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About Salamander Hotels & Resorts

Salamander Hotels & Resorts delivers comfortable luxury through signature, immersive experiences that personally enrich the lives of its guests. The company is privately owned and operated, and based in Middleburg, VA, just outside Washington, D.C. Founded by entrepreneur Sheila Johnson in 2005, it has a luxury portfolio featuring the Forbes Five-Star Salamander Resort & Spa in Middleburg, a 340-acre equestrian-inspired property near Washington, D.C.; Half Moon, the iconic luxury resort in Montego Bay, Jamaica, which features the newly opened Eclipse; The Henderson, a 170-room grand beach resort in Destin, FL; Hotel Bennett, a spectacular 179-room hotel in Charleston, SC, overlooking the city’s historic Marion Square; and Innisbrook Resort in Tampa Bay, which hosts the PGA TOUR’s Valspar Championship each year on its Copperhead Course. All Salamander properties are members of Preferred Hotels & Resorts. For additional information visit

About Salamander Resort & Spa

Salamander Resort & Spa is a Forbes Five-Star rated and LEED Green Building Certified resort situated on 340 picturesque acres in the historic village of Middleburg, Va. Located only one hour from Washington, D.C. and just 35 minutes from Washington Dulles International Airport, the resort is designed to respect the architectural traditions of Virginia’s countryside with 168 spacious rooms and suites that blend into their natural environment. Resort Owner Sheila C. Johnson has created a luxurious destination featuring an award-winning 23,000-square-foot spa, Harrimans Virginia Piedmont Grill, the Gold Cup Wine Bar, a dedicated Cooking Studio, a chef-inspired Culinary Garden as well as the adventurous Tree Top Zip Tour. The resort includes a full-service Equestrian Center with unique programming, a 22-stall stable and riding arena. All spa, culinary and equestrian facilities and programs are open to the community. For more information, visit


FOOD & WINE is the ultimate authority on the best of what's new in food, drink, travel, design and entertaining. FOOD & WINE has an extensive social media following on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube. FOOD & WINE includes a monthly magazine in print and digital; a website,; a books division; plus newsletters, clubs, events, dinnerware, cookware and more. At FOOD & WINE, we inspire and empower our wine and food-obsessed community to eat, drink, entertain and travel better—every day and everywhere. FOOD & WINE is part of Meredith Corp.’s (NYSE: MDP: portfolio of best-in-class brands.

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


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