Staff Report

The third annual Black Pepper Food & Wine Festival is set to showcase

South Florida’s Black-owned restaurants on Saturday, Aug. 26 from 3 to 8 p.m. in Historic Overtown at The Urban, 1000 NW 2nd Ave., Miami.

The Black Pepper Food & Wine Festival presents the many cuisine flavors and entertainment of the African diaspora through small bites, wine tastings, and live-cooking demonstrations, highlighting local Black chefs, Black-owned restaurants and food trucks for an all-day outdoor event.

Attendees can RSVP to attend for free at

A part of the festival’s list of more than 25 South Florida culinary options, popular hotspots include Lil Greenhouse Grill, Dessert Wars 2023, People Choice Champion Phuse Cream with its macaroon ice cream sandwiches, Perry Wings, Rejoice African Restaurant and Bar, Food Dude Fresh Jerk Grill, Ty’s Hometown Cafe & Bistros (winner of Brightline and Miami Dade College Inaugural Food Truck Enterprise program), Fannoh Flavor – South Florida’s first West African food truck, Tropical Oasis Food Truck, Smokey Bears Barbecue, Upper Tea, and More.

Black-owned wine and spirit offerings will be available, and popular South Florida Black mixologists will provide cocktail demonstrations. The impetus of the Black Pepper Food & Wine Festival is to boost the Black economic ecosystem and provide attendees exposure to Black-owned restaurants in South Florida that they can continue to patronize.

In addition to culinary delights, the festival will feature an explosion of Black culture through art, crafts, and music from local Black vendors.

Entry to Black Pepper Food & Wine Festival is free. Cuisine and vendor purchases are made separately.

The Black Pepper Food & Wine Festival co-founders Alexis Brown and Joel Franklin have a track record of promoting creative and entertaining events and executing great projects.

Brown, an event producer and businesswoman, is the founder of Socialxchange, Inc., a full-service event agency specializing in marketing strategies and event curation for the multicultural/ urban market. Some of her event initiatives include BASEL BAE (Black Art Experience), Saturday Sweat culturally relevant wellness experience, SocialXcapade Travel Experience, In the Mix (Network & Panel Series), Drive-in & Vibe (Movie Night & Concert Series), and more.

Franklin, a serial entrepreneur, owns Phuse Cream and Dope Smoke Shop (two locations) and founded Phuse Food LLC & 2klife, a premier lifestyle brand encompassing events, film, food, and media. He brings his diverse entrepreneurial background and event promotion prowess to the festival.

"This year promises to be another unforgettable experience of delectable cuisine, exquisite wines, captivating entertainment, and the celebration of diverse cultures," said Brown.

"Our hope,” said Connie Kinnard, senior vice president, multicultural tourism and development department, Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau (GMCVB), “is that every Black-owned business participating in the event has a special opportunity to grow and raise its profile."

The Black Pepper Food & Wine Festival provides an exceptional moment for South Florida residents and visitors to experience the diversity and richness of the African diaspora, which continues to foster unity and understanding among the region’s multicultural communities.

The Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau, Miami-Dade County Chairman Oliver G. Gilbert, III, and the Miami-Dade Economic Advocacy Trust (MDEAT) sponsor the event. State Rep. Ashley Gantt is a community partner.

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