Madison Black Chamber Presents Black Restaurant Week
The Cuisine of the Diaspora
|Front row: Anointed One’s Lavette Kimble (L-r) and Odessa Williams with
Black Chamber President Camille Carter
Back row: Black Chamber Vice-President Claude Gilmore (l) and
Anointed One ‘s owner Kenneth House
build community around them by letting the Madison community know that these businesses are in existence,” said Camille Carter, president of the Madison Black
Chamber. “Being a ‘foodie’ town, that’s really important to know that there is a variety of foods that are available to Madison. Black restaurants are doing quite well.
We have represented this year in Black Restaurant Week over 30 restaurants, food carts, caterers and dessert preparers. They are out serving up great food to
people. And we really want the community to know about them.”
Within this diaspora of flavors, there is a large diversity of foods that will satiate anyone’s taste buds.
“They are all over the greater Madison area and Dane County,” Carter emphasized. “We have businesses in Sun Prairie and Fitchburg. We have food carts that
actually go as far as Janesville. Food carts are a mobile business and they take their business to their clients. There are a variety of ethnic cuisines that you will
experience during Black Restaurant Week, from African to different foods from the African Diaspora. We have a couple of food carts that feature Jamaican cuisine.
There is food from Latin America and West Africa and East Africa. We also have a vegan restauranteur who caters vegan food, so we do have a variety of foods
within Black Restaurant Week.”
One of the hidden gems that will be featured during Black Restaurant Week is Anointed One on Junction Road on Madison’s far west side.
“I got the idea for Anointed One when I took a vacation to visit my family and there was an Anointed One in Arkansas and they were closing,” said Kenneth House,
owner of The Anointed One. “So I decided to bring it here. I liked the food and we are following the same concept. We cook fresh every day. And we treat the
customers well. I wanted the location to be closer to the south side, but I kind of like our present location now. People find us here. We specialize in soul food, but
we sell everything. And we cater everything. We’re going to be at Africa Fest this year.”
Claude Gilmore, vice-president of the Black Chamber, urges people to be adventurous in trying the different foods during Black Restaurant Week during which each
establishment will feature a Black Restaurant Week Special.
“I think we should all try different things that we haven’t tried before,” Gilmore emphasized. “If you travel outside of the U.S., you try all kinds of foods. We have a
variety of foods here that we haven’t tried yet or didn’t even know they were there. I’ve learned to be more brazen and try things. Sometimes I don’t know what it is,
but it sure tastes good. I have not been disappointed.”
Black Restaurant Week is being held August 11-18. And it will actually begin with a preview Black Restaurant Jamboree on Friday, August 9, 5-8 p.m. at Badger Rock
“That will be an opportunity for our caterers — people who typically don’t have a brick and mortar presence for people to pop in during Black Restaurant Week — to
showcase their cuisines,” Carter said. “There will be caterers and dessert preparers. It will be a family-fun event to come out and taste a great variety of cuisines.
People will be able to gather business cards and information to utilize the businesses for future events. It will also allow people the opportunity to taste the cuisine
and hopefully discover some favorites for caterers. We anticipate around 20 caterers to participate in the event.”
Save up some money and prepare to give your taste buds a treat during Black Restaurant Week. Taste treats await that will take you around the world and then back
down home. Don’t miss it.
By Jonathan Gramling
Sometimes it’s hard to take notice that there is a viable Black restaurant presence in
Madison. There isn’t a special district where a significant number of them sell their
fine cuisine. And the offerings can be so diverse — from Jamaican to East African to
American Soul — that there is little association from one to the other. But all of them
are linked together by the African Diaspora and all have that little something in them
— a taste, a texture, an appearance — that make them deliciously distinctive.
Whether it’s down-home barbeque and sweet potato pies or tibs and chicken peanut
stew, there are approximately 30 Black food companies that stand ready to tickle your
And it is the Madison Black Chamber of Commerce that brings them all together
through Black Restaurant Week, a joint marketing event that brings their presence to
the fore in Madison’s cuisine consciousness.
“The purpose and objective for this event is to promote our Black businesses and