Kwame Onwachi: Grit & Grace to "Overnight" Success

When Kwame Onwuachi was just 26 years old, he had already experienced more career highs and lows than chefs twice his age. He worked in the top restaurants, competed on the TV series “Top Chef,” and opened his own restaurant, The Shaw Bijou when he was 25. The restaurant was one of the most anticipated openings in the country, but closed just 11 weeks after its debut. The press roasted the young chef, so how did Kwame recover after such a public failure? In his new book, Notes from a Young Black Chef, Kwame talked about how he rebounded from that failure and delved into his childhood spent in the Bronx and Nigeria.

After the Shaw Bijou closed, Kwame opened the Michelin-rated Kith and Kin and Philly Wing Fry. On May 6th he won the Rising Star Chef of the Year award by the James Beard Foundation. His book, Notes from a Young Black Chef, has received lots of praise and is available wherever books are sold.