Black chefs and restaurateurs have unequivocally shaped America’s culinary scene, and PepsiCo is advancing its efforts to celebrate and amplify its contributions. The food and beverage brand unveiled its Restaurant Royalty Residency program to bring the flavors of Black-owned eateries across the country to Las Vegas.
The initiative is part of the Pepsi Dig In Restaurant Royalty project unveiled in May. Through the program, consumers could nominate their favorite Black-owned restaurants to be part of a four-week residency at Mandalay Bay’s Libertine Social and Luxor’s Public House in Las Vegas. Amongst the culinary innovators and eateries that will curate menus in Vegas are Chef JJ Johnson, the creator of Harlem’s beloved Fieldtrip restaurant, rapper and restaurateur Bun B’s Houston-based Trill Burgers, Nashville’s Slim and Husky’s founded by Clint Gray, EJ Reed, and Derrick Moore, chefs Maya and Kala Johnstone’s FoodChasers’ Kitchen and LA’s Trap Kitchen created by Eddie “Mikey” Bynum, Malachi “Spank” Jenkins and Roberto “News” Smith.
“It’s an honor to usher in Pepsi Dig In’s Restaurant Royalty Residency and continue to support a platform that’s dedicated to increasing visibility of the Black culinary community,” Chef Johnson said in a statement. “Black restaurateurs and chefs often don’t have access to opportunities to help grow their businesses and move the needle forward. That’s why I’m passionate about supporting Pepsi Dig In and programs like this MGM residency.” Scott Finlow, Chief Marketing Officer of PepsiCo Global Foodservice added, “Las Vegas is a city for revelers and foodies alike and serves as the perfect stage to spotlight talented Black restaurateurs and chefs, highlight their food, and grow their audiences.”
The residency program is one of a few efforts being led under the Pepsi Dig In umbrella. The company has teamed up with the National Urban League to create the Black Restaurant Accelerator program to provide venture capital and mentorship for 500 Black restaurateurs across 12 cities within the next five years. Pepsi has also created the Black Restaurants Delivered initiative to help Black restaurant owners adapt to and thrive in a digital landscape.
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