Feb 27, 2020
Chef Onwuachi creating all-organic menu for OTA awards dinner
The Organic Trade Association

The Organic Trade Association is delighted to announce that James Beard Award-winning chef Kwame Onwuachi will be creating the all-organic menu for the association’s annual Leadership Awards dinner on June 8 as part of Organic Week events in Washington, D.C.

Onwuachi is the executive chef at Kith/Kin and author of the best-selling memoir Notes from a Young Black Chef. Onwuachi trained at the Culinary Institute of America, and has opened five restaurants before turning thirty. A former Top Chef contestant, he has been named one of Food & Wine’s Best New Chefs, Esquire Magazine’s Chef of the Year, and a 30 Under 30 honoree by both Zagat and Forbes.
Chef Kwame photo
“We are thrilled that Chef Kwame will contribute his impressive talents to our inspiring event,” said Laura Batcha, CEO and Executive Director of the Organic Trade Association. “We are honoring organic visionaries, and people who have made a difference. Kwame, through his amazing cooking and even more amazing personal story, is also making a difference.”

“As a restaurateur, you have a promise in which you must deliver to your patrons and that is to provide the best product as possible. I am thrilled to partner with the Organic Trade Association and to work with responsibly procured ingredients to create an all-organic dinner to honor organic leaders,” Onwuachi said.

Onwuachi was born on Long Island and raised in New York City, Nigeria, and Louisiana. He was first exposed to cooking by his mother in the family’s modest Bronx apartment, and he took that spark of passion and turned it into a career. From toiling in the bowels of oil cleanup ships to working at some of the best restaurants in the world, he has seen and lived his fair share of diversity.

In an interview last year with The New York Times, Onwuachi said he hopes he can use his position as executive chef to support other cooks of color, and to create a more inclusive kitchen environment.

A room full of changemakers

The Organic Trade Association’s 2020 Organic Leadership Awards dinner will be held at The InterContinental at the Wharf located on the Potomac River’s recently revitalized Southwest waterfront promenade.

The awards recognize organic visionaries, activists and entrepreneurs who have made a significant difference to organic agriculture, industry and trade. The leadership categories this year are Growing the Organic Community Award, Organic Farmer of the Year Award, and Rising Star Award. Past winners include organic pioneers who have devoted their lives to reforming America’s food system, organic farmers who are carving the path for more farmers to enter the organic chain, and organic innovators who are ensuring that organic continues its path forward.

Nominations for the prestigious awards are now being accepted and should be submitted by Monday, March 30. Selection criteria and nomination forms are available online.  

The awards dinner concludes the first day of the association’s annual flagship event, Organic Week.

A highlight of Organic Week will be the association’s summit on June 9. The Organic Trade Association and Food Tank are partnering for this year’s annual policy conference. The powerful collaboration will bring to the forefront the complex issues surrounding organic food and farming. Always an impressive gathering of hundreds of organic industry leaders, coalition partners and government officials, the summit this year will focus on the Future of Organic.

A dinner ticket for the Leadership Awards Celebration is included as part of Organic Week registration, and individual tickets are also available. Register here.

Sponsors for Organic Week 2020 events include General Mills, New Hope Network, Organic Valley, Amy’s Kitchen, Danone North America, Gallant International, MOM’s Organic Market, National Co+op Grocers, Patagonia Works, Stonyfield Organic,  True Organic Products, Applegate, Prairie Organic Spirits, Quality Assurance International, Ardent Mills, Clif Bar & Company, The J.M. Smucker Company, Montana Organic Association and Vilicus Farms, and Naturepedic Organic Mattresses. For Organic Week sponsorship opportunities, contact the Organic Trade Association.

The Organic Trade Association (OTA) is the membership-based business association for organic agriculture and products in North America. OTA is the leading voice for the organic trade in the United States, representing over 9,500 organic businesses across 50 states. Its members include growers, shippers, processors, certifiers, farmers' associations, distributors, importers, exporters, consultants, retailers and others. OTA’s Board of Directors is democratically elected by its members. OTA's mission is to promote and protect ORGANIC with a unifying voice that serves and engages its diverse members from farm to marketplace. The Organic Trade Association does not discriminate on the basis of age, disability, national origin or ancestry, race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, marital status, political affiliation or military status. Persons with disabilities who require alternate means for communication of program information can contact us at info@ota.com.

Be sure to check out our other specialty agriculture brands