Events / Dinner

[Virtual] Conversation and Community

Featuring Food and Beverage Investment Fund for Black and Indigenous Americans Grantees

Thu, April 29, 2021

7:00 PM

Price: Free with advance registration WATCH BROADCAST

Please join us for an evening of conversation and connection with three inspiring culinary entrepreneurs, community leaders, and Food and Beverage Investment Fund for Black and Indigenous Americans grantees. Hosted by Jesalyn Keziah, we will learn more about their culinary traditions, deep engagement with their local communities, resilience in the face of the pandemic, and vision for the lasting impact of their work. We invite you to raise a glass, enjoy an inspiring evening of storytelling, and learn more about the James Beard Foundation's work to support Black- and Indigenous-owned businesses across the country.

Featuring Saran Toby, Provisions Cafe & Market, Germantown, MD
Anthony Jolly, Hot & Cool Cafe Los Angeles
Jon Renthrope, Cajun Fire Brewing Company New Orleans
Hosted by Jesalyn Keziah, Community Engagement Program Officer, UNC-Chapel Hill American Indian Center, and JBF Investment Fund Leadership Committee Member

About the Speakers

Saran Toby is the executive chef and owner of Provisions Cafe & Market in Germantown, Maryland. Her goal was to open a neighborhood cafe reflecting the flavors of her culture from a fresh, farm-to-table approach while building community. Born in Trinidad and Tobago and raised in North Carolina, she was nurtured by Caribbean and Southern cooking. Being an international food adventurer led to her love of experimenting with flavors from her various homes. Prior to her culinary career, she earned a degree in Biology and is pursuing her Masters in Clinical Nutrition, with a commitment to creating dishes that not only reflect her culture but also validate the intrinsic link between food and health.

Anthony Jolly of Hot & Cool Cafe in Los Angeles is building community through coffee. His dream of opening a coffee shop manifested into a space that embodies the heritage of the historic Leimert Park neighborhood and serves as a cultural beacon. From afterschool programs, youth training, open mic nights, to community fridge and food access initiatives, Hot & Cool Cafe is a certified social enterprise committed to community-building and togetherness. 

Jon Renthrope is founder and brewer of Cajun Fire Brewing Company in New Orleans. This native New Orleanian and member of the United Houma Nation is on a mission to create premium beer that pays homage to Cajun, Creole, Houma Indian, and African Diasporic cultures. More broadly, the company tackles issues of inequity in the craft beverage space, supports local Orleans Parish philanthropies, and is working on an exciting development project, the New Orleans East Cultural hub. 

Jesalyn Keziah, Jesalyn Keziah, a member of the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina, currently serves as the Community Engagement Program Officer at the American Indian Center at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, where she recently completed her Masters degree in Social Work. She spent the first decade of her career in regional food justice work at Resourceful Communities, the Conservation Fund, the Center for Environmental Farming Systems, and a range of local food systems projects. In addition to serving on the Leadership Committee for the JBF Investment Fund for Black and Indigenous Americans, Keziah is also a community-oriented gardener, artist, potter, activist, and social worker who is interested in Native food systems. She recently started tending a 100-year-old farm in Durham, North Carolina, and is happiest in the sun gathering berries.


Related Info

The Foundation is committed to providing an environment in which all individuals are treated with respect and dignity and which is free of unlawful discrimination and harassment. In keeping with this commitment, the Foundation will not tolerate harassment of guests or staff in any form at Foundation events. 

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