The inaugural Atlanta Black Restaurant Week ended with a bang at the first black-owned Atlanta Food Truck Park on Sunday.
More than 1,000 attendees rolled through SoundBites: Atlanta Food Truck Park to eat up soulful and tasty fare served up by black chefs, restaurants and food trucks. The multi-cultural foods at the festival ranged from pop culture dishes like the Olivia Pope catfish baskets from Atlanta Seafood Company to coffee-infused frozen treats from Mocha Pops.
Warren Luckett, founder of Black Restaurant Week, said he decided to expand the week from Houston to Atlanta, because he feels like the city's demographics are a perfect fit.
"When we found out that the Atlanta Food Truck Park was black-owned, we realized that it was a match made in heaven," Luckett said. "We were trying to highlight the culinary scene in Atlanta as much as possible."
The full-scale event was fun for the whole family with the offerings like bounce houses for kids,15 vendors from those with delectable cuisines to merchandise for the summer.
Live music was in the backdrop for the foodies in attendance, courtesy of Grammy-award winning producer and songwriter Bryan- Michael Cox, Decoteau, Abe Hyde, Dibiase, Mike Nasty, Mix Master David and Ohso.
"It's just a celebration of our culture. We were looking to highlight the African diaspora. So, anyone from Africa to the Caribbean to all of black America," Luckett said. "And while we want to showcase them and highlight them, this event is really for everyone. It's an opportunity to open up our culture."
When Ashley Hanna-Holloway received an email about the event, she knew she had to stop by to taste some fried shrimp and ice cream. As a part of Black Restaurant Week, she previously tried curry goat at Mangos and Caribbean food at Spice House.
"I was actually looking for black-owned food trucks in general. So, I get to get a one stop shop," Hanna-Holloway said.
Tan Bowers, owner of the first black-owned Atlanta Food Truck Park, said she hopes for festival goers to feel the park's positive energy and creativity.
"I think it's great to be able to support cultural events. To have the first Atlanta Black Restaurant Week, and it's been an epic week of events. I think it is great for the city," Bowers said. "I hope that when people come they will be able to appreciate that this is Atlanta's one and only food truck park. It just so happens to be African-American-owned."
Since Lauren Williams' mom was in town, she decided to get out and enjoy the warm weather at the food truck park. Once Williams arrived, she grabbed food from Jerk Brothers and the Olivia Pope at Atlanta Seafood Company. To top off her day, she cooled off with 2 Scoops Ice Cream & Sweets' cookies & creme cheesecake ice cream.
"I think we are tapping out after this. This is the third thing to finish us off," Williams said.
Bower's food truck park business partner Dexter Temple is looking forward to next year's event and expects for it to be "bigger and better."
"I hope that the festival continues to grow, to add on, continue to build relationships. When you are doing any type of festival, you are not just there to enjoy yourself. You are there to educate," Temple said.