‘Top Chef’ star Kwame Onwuachi is opening an Afro-Caribbean restaurant in New York this fall

Kwame Onwuachi is gearing up for his comeback: the award-winning chef will run a new restaurant opening at New York’s Lincoln Center this fall.

Shortly after its reopening in October, the David Geffen Hall will house an Afro-Caribbean spot directed by Bronx native Onwuachi, according to The New York Times. The restaurant doesn’t yet have a name or menu, but Onwuachi said he’s considering dishes like beef-based bodega-style minced cheese, Taleggio cheese and truffles, Egusi soup dumplings and braised oxtails.

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“Coming back to New York is a dream,” the chef told the Time.

Onwuachi rose to fame through an appearance on Excellent chef in 2015. He then opened a few restaurants in Washington, DC—the failing Shaw Bijou, followed by the critically acclaimed Kith/Kin. In 2019, he published a memoir about his experience as a young black chef and won the James Beard award for Rising Star Chef of the Year. Around the start of the pandemic, Onwuachi somewhat abruptly resigned from Kith/Kin and moved to Los Angeles.

Now, for now, he’s moved to New York City, where he grew up and where he remembers going to Lincoln Center shows with his mother. In recent years, the complex’s David Geffen Hall, home of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, has undergone a multi-million dollar renovation, and it is set to reopen with a number of new hospitality projects, according to Eater NY. Onwuachi told the Time that he hopes his restaurant will help increase diversity at Lincoln Center as a whole.

After its rapid rise in the mid-2010s, the closure of restaurants in Onwuachi came as a surprise. So her new spot in New York is sure to be a welcome return to the restaurant scene for one of the industry’s young stars.

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Michael M. Tomlin