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Marcus Samuelsson to Curate Honeyland — A New Black Food and Beverage Festival Headed for the Houston Area

The Honeyland Festival is set to be a two-day showcase and celebration of Black creativity within food, beverage, music, and art

Marcus Samuelsson leans over a cutting board on a counter.
Marcus Samuelsson will curate the food programming for what might be the biggest Black food and beverage festival to hit the Houston area.

Marcus Samuelsson, who notably visited Houston to explore the West African food scene in a past episode of PBS’ No Passport Required, will return to the area this fall — this time, to help put on a festival that will celebrate Black expression and creativity in a major way.

The lauded chef and TV personality will serve as the food curator for Honeyland. The two-day festival will overtake Sugar Land’s Crown Festival Park in November to showcase the creativity of Black professionals across various industries, including food, beverages, music, and art, according to a release. Fawn Weaver, the founder of Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey — a whiskey named after the formerly enslaved Nathan “Nearest” Green who reportedly taught Jack Daniel the craft of distilling — will curate the festival’s beverage and spirits programming.

A taco loaded with protein and vegetables, a bowl of rice, and a plate of lamb chops and salad sit atop a barrel.
The two-day Honeyland festival is set to explore Black expression within in food.
Max Miechowski

In a statement, Samuelsson called the festival an exploration of the “cross-section of food and culture.”

“For centuries, Black people have expressed themselves through the creation of foods that still serve as cultural staples in our community,” Samuelsson said. “Our cuisine is layered and complex with inspirations from the African continent, to the U.S. South, to the Caribbean, and beyond.”

Though the specific schedule has yet to be announced, the festival — a collaboration between entertainment company Live Nation Urban and event and talent management company IMG — plans to showcase top Black food creators, artists, and musicians who have shaped modern music, as well as Black mixologists, blenders, wine experts, and distillers. Its leaders have also pledged to assist the community it celebrates by hiring and working with local and diverse businesses and aims to invest $1 million in grants to Black creators in Houston, which will offer financial support, professional training, and career development to assist the next generation of hospitality leaders of color.

Two-day general admission tickets and VIP passes are set to go on sale in the coming weeks and will be available on the Honeyland website.

The Honeyland festival will take place November 11 and 12 at Crown Festival Park, Sugar Land, 18355 Southwest Freeway, Sugar Land 77479.