Chefs open up about Black Restaurant Week in Houston

HOUSTON – The fourth-annual Houston Black Restaurant Week is officially underway. Thirty-six African American and Caribbean restaurants are taking part in the two-week long event.

Poitin, located in the Washington Corridor, is one of a dozen restaurants giving Houstonians a taste for Black Restaurant Week, which runs from Sunday through April 28.

Poitin's executive chef, Dominick Lee, is from Louisiana. He likes his plates to showcase his Southern roots.

The Gulf shrimp that he used for his shrimp and grits is shipped from his home state. Lee said he likes to cook with local, farm-fresh ingredients too. The stone milled grits that he used were grown in Texas.

“Throughout my time I realized that I wanted to make Southern food and focus in on southern food because I am from the South and it’s something that my palate is used to,” Lee said.

At 30, Lee is one of the city’s youngest black executive chefs cooking in one of the city’s newer restaurants.

Poitin has only been open for a year. He said supporting his during Black Restaurant Week is a good way for the community to get a sense for his story and what’s possible.

“The African American community are patrons of the place, but I’d also like them to know about it. I like them to know it exists,” said Lee.

Poitin is offering a two-course lunch for $30 or a three-course dinner for $45.

At Lucille’s in the Museum District, you’ll find dishes deeply rooted in Southern and family history.

“For anything that’s truest Americana it comes from the South,” said chef Christopher Williams. “It comes from the soul, it comes from the slaves, and so what we’ve done is taken those basic core ingredients and flavors and just elevated them and refined them a little bit.”

Williams integrates some of his great-grandmother, Lucille’s, prized recipes with a few of his own. This and next week hungry Houstonians can try oxtail marmalade on a roasted veal bone marrow or a watermelon feta salad -- as part of a multi-course meal -- for a fraction of the cost.

Lucille is offering a two-course lunch for $25 or three-course meal with wine for $45.

Part of the proceeds raised during Black Restaurant Week will support nonprofit FARMS. The group helps black farmers with produce buys and keeping generational land.