There's a way to try Chef Jerome Grant's cooking this weekend without tickets to the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Grant is the chef at the museum's Sweet Home Cafe, which just received a love letter from national Eater critic Bill Addison. On Sunday, he'll shed his cafeteria digs for The Big Chief in Ivy City to give Washingtonians a taste of a traditional "chop bar."
Popularized in West Africa, chop bars are makeshift restaurants that bring communities together for food and music based on the belief that food is something that connects us all. Grant will serve a tasting menu inspired by the African diaspora as well as his Caribbean, American, and Filipino heritage.
"From childhood memories to unforgettable cultural experiences, this menu showcases seasonal ingredients and flavors through my rendition of classic dishes," Grant writes in an email.
The meal will progress from bar snacks like benne seed hummus to savory dishes like smoked Chesapeake blue catfish and lamb roti followed by cassava cake for dessert. Cocktails will also be available.
"Chop Bar–A Global Food Experience” is presented by Dine Diaspora—a local lifestyle and events company founded by three Ghanaian women that provides chefs of diverse backgrounds opportunities to showcase their food and tell their stories.
Tickets to the event are $45 and The Big Chief is located at 2002 Fenwick St. NE.