MIAMI – You can now enjoy the flavors of African-American, African and Caribbean cuisine during Black Restaurant Week Florida.
More than 20 businesses are participating in South Florida and there is something for everyone with this campaign, from smoothie shops to fine dining.
Local 10 News reporter Alexis Frazier spoke with one of the restaurant owners who has deep ties to Miami and the music industry.
“If you love mac and cheese, then you’re really going to love this,” Derrick Turton, who owns the World Famous House of Mac in Wynwood, said.
From soul food to seafood, black-owned restaurants continue to pop up throughout South Florida,
But it’s hard for many of them to survive, especially after the pandemic.
“So many businesses were on their last leg,” said Falayn Ferrell, of Black Restaurant Week. “It’s still a troubling time for businesses when you look at inflation, food cost, as well as staffing shortages.”
That’s why Ferrell and her two partners created Black Restaurant Week.
“When you really look at a lot of businesses in minority communities, they were more fast, casual, counter-serve-style restaurants, food trucks, things like that,” she said. “We wanted to create a platform that was all inclusive for those businesses and give them an opportunity to shine.”
And it’s finally time to celebrate them here in South Florida.
The 10-day showcase celebrates the best in the state.
Some of them will be offering weekly specials and one of the newest restaurants to join is the World Famous House of Mac.
It was created by Turton, who started out his career in the music industry as Pitbull’s manager.
But when his father died in 2014, he wanted to create something for himself.
“It just kind of hit a light switch in my head. Made me want to focus more on legacy and ownership and generational wealth,” Turton said.
So he made his dad the face of his brand and started putting a spin on a classic side dish -- mac and cheese.
There are a few options -- from buffalo chicken mac, to pizza mac and even jerk chicken mac.
In total, you can try 18 different variations of mac and cheese, but that’s not all.
“Chicken and waffles, pastas, chicken wings, we have a homemade lemonade that we can’t keep on the shelves,” Turton said. “It’s an experience -- it’s not just about the food. It’s about the service and the ambience.”
When you come inside the Wynwood location, you can see his connection to the music industry is still strong as he has a wall featuring photos of celebrities.
“It’s kind of like a wall of fame,” Turton said. “One of the things I got out of the music business was building a lot of relationships … Uncle Luke -- I got started off in the business with Uncle Luke, Dwyane Wade, Gabrielle Union, ASAP Rocky, Rihanna.”
He also has artwork throughout the restaurant that embodies the culture, and his food is the cheese on top.
Black Restaurant Week is from now until Nov. 20.
Click here to view a list of all participating restaurants.