NewsTop Chef Kwame Onwuachi To Honor Benjamin Banneker

Top Chef Kwame Onwuachi To Honor Benjamin Banneker

Renowned “Top Chef” star Kwame Onwuachi is set to make his highly-anticipated return to DC’s culinary scene this spring with the opening of his new restaurant.

Renowned “Top Chef” star Kwame Onwuachi is set to make his highly-anticipated return to DC’s culinary scene this spring with the opening of his new restaurant.

The restaurant will reflect Onwuachi’s distinctive Nigerian, Jamaican, Trinidadian, and Creole heritage. With a design concept from the architectural firm Modellus Novus, the same designer of Onwuachi’s critically acclaimed NYC newcomer Tatiana, curtains of linked chains adorn the lobby of Dōgon at street level that draw inspiration from the mathematical instrument Banneker used to delineate city lines. 

“I firmly believe that a restaurant should have a story, because when it has a story it has a soul,” Onwuachi said in a statement. 

“Researching the history of Benjamin Banneker, the Dogon tribe, and the connections to our location was a humbling-yet-inspiring experience. Our menu will celebrate all the cultures within DC’s four quadrants. This is the story of Dōgon.”

Historical records cite Benjamin Banneker as a self-educated mathematician, astronomer, and inventor who played a crucial role in the shaping of Washington, D.C. His pioneering use of astronomy proved instrumental in surveying the future City of Washington in 1791. Some authors argue that Banneker’s lineage can be traced back through his grandfather to the Dogon tribe in Mali, known for their advanced expertise in astronomy, mathematics, and engineering.

Onwuachi shared an Instagram announcement on Wednesday, January 24 that highlighted the research and history that went into his new restaurant concept.

“After yeearrrrs in the making I’m proud to announce my new restaurant, Dogon, coming to Washington DC soon,” he wrote. 

“Honoring the legacy of the Dogon tribe in Mali and their connection to the capitol. Benjamin Banneker was a descendant of this tribe who was hired to survey the city and create the borders. He used the stars as his guide which was a skill of the Dogon People.” 

“This restaurant will encompass all that makes DC special through an Afro Caribbean lens,” he added. “Can’t wait for you all to come through these doors. It’s so so so so good to be back!”

Source: Black Enterprise

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