Kwame Onwuachi, award-winning chef, restaurateur and author of “Notes from a Young Black Chef,” was raised in the Bronx and was first exposed to cooking at his mother’s side in their apartment kitchen. It’s that Bronx connection and his status as a role model for kids growing up in that New York City borough that are being celebrated Thursday at the Bronx Children Museum’s annual gala.
“To be honored at the Bronx Children's Museum Gala is a heartfelt validation that my culinary journey is intertwined with a larger purpose,” said Onwuachi. “Food has the incredible power to bridge cultures and open doors of opportunity. I'm grateful to share my passion for cooking with the community and contribute to the growth of our youth.”
One of the chef’s local fans is 11-year-old Samara Osae-Asare, who has been designated the emcee for the night. She and her family divide their time between The Bronx and Ghana, and she, too, loves to hang out in the kitchen watching her mom cook. “Cooking is a great way to express yourself,” she said, noting that jollof rice, a traditional West African dish, is one of her favorites.
Osae-Asare has made history as Ghana’s youngest host of “Kids Arena,” a news show for children, and she uses that platform to interview celebrities and entrepreneurs, including Chance the Rapper, Usher and Jack Dorsey. But this will be is the first time she emcees a gala and meets Chef Onwuachi and the other two Bronx honorees: Saya Woofalk, a multimedia artist and educator, and Ruschell Boone, an Emmy Award-winning news anchor.
“This year’s Summer Under the Stars Gala celebrates the brilliance and resilience of our honorees, reminding us that every child’s potential is a constellation waiting to be explored,” said Denise Rosario Adusei, executive director of Bronx Children’s Museum.
Choosing rising young star Osae-Asare as emcee is another reminder of the value of nurturing a child’s potential. For Osae-Asare, the Bronx Children’s Museum represents the borough’s culture and serves as a neighborhood destination to develop and spark children’s imaginations.