By: Paige Hubbard

HOUSTON — Black Restaurant Week went out with a bang Saturday night at the “Power of the Palate” mixologist competition, hosted at Scrappy Browns in the heart of Houston’s Third Ward.

Some of the city’s biggest influencers, including KTRK-TV anchor Chauncy Glover, Houston Texans player Whitney Mercilus, Houston Chronicle Fashion and Beauty Editor Joy Sewing , Diageo Consultant Kiojo Morris, News With Attitude owner and Digital Executive Producer of CW39 Nakia Cooper  and Chef Christopher Williams, the owner of Scrappy Brown’s and  Lucille’s, came together to sip for a cause and judge the bartending competition.

“I am a proud supporter of Black Restaurant Week, this year is no different. I’m happy to be a judge for the finale event and even after this week is over, I think people should still go out and support black- owned business here in the city,” Cooper said.

This was the second year of Black Restaurant Week. After generating over $50, 000 from the event last year, the committee decided to extend it to two weeks.

“We want to keep our black business thriving. Extending Black Restaurant Week to two weeks economically will help bring in more revenue and support to the community and participating restaurants that need it,” said Houston Black Restaurant Week founder Warren Luckett.

This year’s festivities kicked off on Tuesday and each day had a different theme. Some of the events included enjoying a three-course dinner while leading restaurant franchise owners discussed successful business practices while you dine. Weekend passes were also available which allowed participants access to four different events. Of course, we can’t forget to mention Houston’s first black-owned food truck festival where a variety of food trucks came together for good fun food and music.

The finale was full of good energy with even better vibes. With the delicious food and cocktails being served, it was rather hard not to enjoy yourself.

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Black Restaurant Week’s mission is to promote awareness about the black culinary industry across America. The foundation supports the local community with local endeavors. A portion of the proceeds of the 2017 initiative will be given to Blue Triangle Community Center Kitchen to assist in renovation.

“This is a blessing, this is God’s work I’m so blessed we got the community to come be involved,” Luckett said. “It’s all about the community. It’s not about me, it’s not about any of these one restaurants, it’s about the community. Black Houston, I love y’all, this is for y’all and this is what we are here to do.”

We at think it’s safe to say that we can look forward to many more successful years of Black Restaurant Week. This is just the beginning.

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