• He is the author of Notes from a Young Black Chef, which looks back on the difficult path that one tough kid from the Bronx took to reach his goal: becoming a chef in charge of a fine-dining restaurant.
• Kwame's first cookbook, My America: Recipes from a Young Black Chef, highlights dishes that show the true diversity of American food and the culture and history behind it.
• Kwame trained at the Culinary Institute of America and opened five restaurants before turning 30, including the groundbreaking Afro-Caribbean restaurant, Kith/Kin.
• Since competing on Top Chef, he has served as a guest judge on Top Chef, been named one of FOOD & WINE’s Best New Chefs, Esquire Magazine’s Chef of the Year, and a 30 Under 30 honoree by both Zagat and Forbes.
In 2012, Kwame enrolled at The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York. During culinary school, Onwuachi worked an externship at Per Se, and after graduation he worked as a line cook at Eleven Madison Park. In 2015, he was a contestant on Top Chef (season 13).
Kwame published a memoir in 2019, Notes from a Young Black Chef, with Joshua David Stein. The book tells the story of his childhood in New York and Nigeria, and the opening of the Shaw Bijou. A follow up cookbook, My America: Recipes from a Young Black Chef was published in May 2022.
Kwame's resume is incomparable as he has been named one of Food & Wine's Best New Chefs, Esquire Magazine's 2019 Chef of the Year, the TIME 100 Next 2019 List, and is a 30 Under 30 honoree by both Zagat and Forbes.
Kwame currently serves as Food & Wine's executive producer. In this recently-appointed role, Kwame collaborated on big brand moments and events including the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen, CO and "The Family Reunion: Presented by Kwame Onwuachi" in Middleburg, VA.
From Candy Bars to Michelin Stars
By the time he was twenty-seven years old, Kwame Onwuachi had opened one of the most talked about restaurants in America, and launched his own catering company with twenty thousand dollars that he made from selling candy on the subway.
But Onwuachi found the road to success riddled with potholes. Growing up in the Bronx led him to brushes with gangs as a teen, drug dealing in college, and encounters with racism as a young chef.
Through food, he broke out of a dangerous downward spiral – embarking on a journey that led him to the kitchens of the most acclaimed restaurants in the country and appearing as a contestant on Top Chef.
A powerful, heartfelt, and shockingly honest story of chasing your dreams – Onwuachi inspires audiences to pursue their passions, despite the odds.
Notes From a Young Black Chef: Ingredients for an Inclusive Workplace
Kwame Onwuachi’s love of cooking remained a constant even when, as a young chef, he was forced to grapple with just how unwelcoming the culinary world can be for people of color. His early experiences taught him about the kind of kitchen he did not want to lead - and that the most devastating forms of racism and sexism are not always the most visible.
Now a James Beard Award-winning chef, Kwame's commitment to an inclusive workplace has attracted some of the most talented chefs in the world of fine dining. Audiences will learn how to shine a light on the challenges their own organizations face, with memorable stories from Kwame's journey to illustrate the ingredients for success.
We can help ideate, source and book speakers that aren't on our website, too. Leave an inquiry or call us at