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  • 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm | Tuesday September 19, 2023
  • Demo Kitchen | Ace Hotel Brooklyn

Join us for a conversation with the one and only Klancy Miller and three interviewees from the book: Shanika Hillocks, Kelly Mitchell and Kia Damon on inspiration, Black women and hospitality.


Chef and writer Klancy Miller found her own way by trial and error—as a pastry chef, recipe developer, author, and founder of For the Culture magazine—but what if she had known then what she knows now? 

What if she had known the extraordinary women profiled within these pages—entrepreneurs, chefs, food stylists, mixologists, historians, influencers, hoteliers, and more—and learned from their stories?


FOR THE CULTURE: A must-have anthology of the leading Black women and femmes shaping today’s food and hospitality landscape—from farm to table and beyond—chronicling their passions and motivations, lessons learned and hard-won wisdom, personal recipes, and more.


Books will be available for sale by BEM books.



FOR THE CULTURE features 66 interviews (with Dr. Jessica B. Harris, Sophia Roe, Kia Damon, Yewande Komolafe, and many more) and includes 48 recipes by the interviewees and five personal essays by Klancy Miller about culinary matriarchs, Edna Lewis, Leah Chase, B. Smith, Lena Richard, and Vertamae Smart Grosvenor. As publisher, Harper Collins, says, “These collective profiles are a one-of-a-kind oral history of a movement, captured in real time, and indispensable for anyone passionate about food.” (BY ME)




Klancy Miller is the author of For the Culture: Phenomenal Black Women and Femmes in Food. She is also author of Cooking Solo: The Fun of Cooking for Yourself and founder of For the Culture: A Magazine Celebrating Black Women and Femmes in Food and Wine. Klancy earned her diplôme de pâtisserie from Le Cordon Bleu Paris. She has appeared in The New York Times Food section, on Food Network’s Recipe for Success and the Cooking Channel’s Unique Sweets. She has written for The New York Times, Vogue, The Washington Post, Food and Wine, Cherry Bombe, Bon Appétit, and Food 52. She is a 2022 IACP Trailblazer Award Winner. Klancy lives in Brooklyn. 

Shanika Hillocks is the driving force behind her namesake brand strategy and marketing consultancy based in New York City. With humble beginnings in her Florida hometown’s restaurant scene, Shanika’s professional journey led her to the bustling wine and spirits industry of New York City, where she thrived as a PR professional. Today, she stands as a multifaceted presence in the world of hospitality, spanning a diverse range of titles over the past decade including on-camera talent, influencer marketing expert, speaker, writer, content creator, event producer, and host. Her written work has graced the digital and printed pages of prestigious publications such as Condé Nast Traveler, Esquire, Bon Appétit, SevenFifty Daily, and Wine Enthusiast Magazine, where she received recognition as a 40 Under 40 Tastemaker in 2021.

Kelly Mitchell is a Sales Representative for Skurnik Wines & Spirits, wine consultant, and educator. She was named on Wine Enthusiast’s 2021 40 Under 40 Tastemakers list. Kelly was also named a “Rising Black Voice in Wine” by Wine & Spirits Magazine, appearing on its October 2020 cover.  Kelly made her national TV debut on NBC Nightly News in December 2022. In 2016, she founded her consulting company, Kelly Mitchell Wine to focus on the wine needs of consumers. Kelly consults as a wine educator on a variety of consumer driven wine topics, as a guest sommelier for wine tastings and events, and as a private consultant for wine enthusiasts and collectors. She has been an event sommelier at the James Beard House, led tastings for law firms and a variety of corporate clients. Her strength is expert food and wine pairing and she has worked with a global roster of chefs on unique and memorable dining experiences. In April 2020, Kelly launched Kelly Selects, an e-commerce boutique in partnership with online wine retailer, Wired for Wine, where she shares her favorite wines and makes them available for consumer purchase.

Kia Damon is a self-taught chef and proud Floridan woman. While paving her way through kitchens, she launched The Supper Club From Nowhere as a response to the lack of visible Black women in her culinary community. She soon became known as Kia Cooks as she spent her time doing pop up dinners, private cooking and cooking demos. After moving to New York, she took over as an Executive Chef at Lalito in Manhattan at 24 years old. Soon after, she became Cherry Bombe Magazine’s first Culinary Director. Her approach to food is influenced by her personal exploration into her roots and her desire to find the threads that tie cultures together. She is the founder of the Kia Feeds The People program and co-founder of Auxilio. Two non profit organizations dedicated to combating food apartheid. She is a “Chopped” Champion. She has been named one of 16 Black Chefs Changing Food In America by The New York Times and Forbes 30 Under 30 in Food and Beverage for 2021.

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