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Black and Asian Solidarity Supper in Oakland celebrates culture and community

Oakland Black and Asian Solidarity Supper celebrates culture and community
Oakland Black and Asian Solidarity Supper celebrates culture and community 02:20

OAKLAND -- A special culinary kickoff celebration for the weeklong Black Food and Wine Experience celebrated Black and Asian communities Saturday night at a restaurant in Oakland. 

The sold-out Black and Asian Solidarity Supper at Sobre Mesa in Oakland presented the best of Vietnamese fusion and pan-African cuisine. 

The seven-course meal was prepared by Oakland residents and Top Chef alumni Tu David Phu and Nelson German. A seafood salad, truffle garlic noodles and pepper pot duck were among the dishes.  

"The way we cook we fuse a lot of cultures into our cooking, but truly if you closed your eyes and you ate it, I'm pretty sure people wouldn't know if it's from me or from Chef Nelson," said Chef Phu. "I think it's the beauty of our collaboration."

"A lot of our cultures are so intertwined, and it's through food, through the ingredients that have been shipped around through the years, different countries," added Chef German, who owns Sobre Mesa.

More than 100 diners turned out for the afro-Asian dinner that featured conversations meant to bridge cultures, celebrate Black pride, and condemn anti-Asian hate. 

"We know that food is the one thing that really brings people together right, breaking bread together as different cultures different types of people," said Chef German. "It's just showing the love, there's a different vibe about it." 

The Black Food and wine experience, now in its 5th year, features a week of events surrounding Juneteenth.

"During Juneteenth, its super important for us to create an economic structure within our economy here in Oakland, which represents food, it's the mecca of so many different cultures, and having that together allows us to be free," said Chef Aminah Robinson-Briscoe, founder of the Black Food and Wine Experience better know as Chef Mimi. "It represents the freedom that Juneteenth represents"

"I think Oakland continues to be a melting pot and this is just an event that is a reflection of our city," said diner Alexis Brown of Oakland.

Chefs German and Phu said their city needs unity, after a rise in crimes against Asian Americans and following the death of George Floyd.

"I think that's the beauty - when you look at this dining room, you can see for yourself, we're not all Asian here, we're all standing together, we're talking about we care and we love each other and we want to find ways to heal," said Phu. "I think it's a starting point for our youth to inspire them to see this is what we want to work towards, this is what positivity looks like."

The Black Food and Wine Experience culminates on Juneteenth. For more information visit https://www.thechefmimi.com/bfwe

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