2018 StarChefs D.C.-Chesapeake Rising Star Chef Kwame Onwuachi of Kith/Kin

2018 StarChefs D.C.-Chesapeake Rising Star Chef Kwame Onwuachi of Kith/Kin
November 2018

801 Wharf St SW
Washington, D.C. 20024


Young Kwame Onwuachi cooked in the kitchen of his mother’s catering company in the Bronx, peeling shrimp and stirring roux for gumbo. When he was 12, his mother sent him to live with his grandfather for two years in Nigeria. Living without electricity and modern conveniences, Onwuachi learned to be creative and appreciate the effort that goes into preparing a meal, including butchering an animal without being wasteful. After graduating high school, he moved to Louisiana, where he waited tables and washed dishes until he could try his hand in the kitchen. Armed with new confidence, at 20 he moved back to New York and sold candy on the subway to help fund his catering business. He then enrolled at the Culinary Institute of America and, soon after, dove into the world of fine dining at Eleven Madison Park and Per Se.

In 2016, after competing in Bravo’s “Top Chef,” Onwuachi opened modern American fine-dining The Shaw Bijou in Washington, D.C. Not meant to be, by 2017 Onwauchi had moved on from that project to open Kith and Kin in the InterContinental Hotel at The Wharf. The atmosphere and presentation are fine dining and the food is Afro-Caribbean, exploring the influences of his mother’s Creole and Jamaican roots and his grandfather’s Nigerian heritage. Onwuachi has been named to 30 under 30 lists by both Zagat and Forbes and is releasing a memoir, Notes from a Young Black Chef in April 2019 with Knopf Publishing.