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Brown Sugar Bakery
Photograph: Courtesy Brown Sugar Bakery

This virtual food festival spotlights Black-owned restaurants throughout Chicago

Blaktober, hosted by the folks behind Black People Eats, is offering restaurant deals, online events and more throughout October.

By
Emma Krupp
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The organizers behind Black People Eats, one of Chicago's most prominent Black-owned restaurant databases, have debuted a new virtual event aimed at celebrating Chicago's wonderfully diverse culinary scene.

Every weekend this month, Blaktober will feature dining deals from 76 Black-owned restaurants in the city, including fan-favorite spots like Brown Sugar Bakery, Mabe's Deli and 5 Loaves Eatery (among many others—you can see a list of participating restaurants here), plus a free downloadable e-cookbook with recipes from Black chefs, virtual cooking demos and more. If you want to pump up the experience, you can also opt to buy tickets from the Blaktober Eventbrite page, which will net you VIP access to the cooking demos and other perks, like tickets to a virtual Afrobeats dance class. 

Earlier this year, Black People Eats hosted a similar virtual event in honor of Juneteenth. Jeremy Joyce, the group's founder, says he wanted to boost awareness for Black restaurants during the month of October after learning that countries like the U.K. observe Black History Month then (instead of in February, like the U.S. does).

"This event means a lot to me. It's a way to celebrate Black restaurants all month long outside of February," Joyce says. "I realized that now most Black restaurants and businesses only really get highlighted in February and now Juneteenth. We wanted to do something that will leave an imprint on history by doing something in October. This means connecting people to Black restaurants all month long while increasing business and revenues for Black restaurants, which will help the Black community."

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