Chefs Hardy, Cedric Andrews and Taz have put together a culinary celebration that melds black history and modern dining.
Chef Max Hardy is back again this Black History Month with two dinners at frame in Hazel Park meant to celebrate black food, art and culture. “Over the last 10 years, I’ve done something for Black History Month highlighting chefs, and food and beverage as a whole from an African American lens,” Hardy says.
This time he’s partnering with Chef Cedric Andrews for night one (Feb. 11) and Chef Taz for the second go-round (Feb. 25). Guests will enjoy live art by visual artist Gerald Collins, a cultivated playlist and six courses of leveled-up black comfort food. The menu came together in just a couple days, most of the magic happening over drinks, vibes and vinyl beats at The Griot in Midtown.
When Hardy approached Andrews with an offer to collaborate, he immediately took to Hardy’s plan for taking the classics that we grew up on and know so well and elevating them. Among other dishes, expect a corn pudding with smoked tomato chutney and crispy fried kale, and grits with braised pork belly, okra and a pork jus on the first night.
Andrews says, “I love our food, specifically, but I am passionate about culinary arts and techniques. It’s great to be able to showcase us as black people being able to cook what you would see in a European-based environment – the same techniques just with our flavor profile.”
Hardy and Chef Taz’s showcase will feature a tomato and onion salad with collards, and a crispy fish collar with pickles, sweet potato aioli and baby greens. Hardy is taking a back seat and letting Andrews and Taz shine; each are taking on four courses to Hardy’s two.
Collectively, the chefs have cooked for years in culinary meccas like New York City and Los Angeles and boasted celebrity clientele, and now they’ve brought that experience and passion for food back home to Detroit. Hardy hopes people of color, especially, see the significance of a group of black chefs coming together to deliver a modern, celebratory dining experience that gives a nod to the culture.
“It tells the story of us as people,” Hardy says of a celebration like this one. We are and have always been innovators, artists, storytellers, and food has often acted as the axis about which our culture rotates and the glue that binds us. “Our culture is the most appropriated,” Andrews says. “Everybody wants to be black but nobody wants to be black. It’s important every chance we get that we showcase strong, loud and as proud as we can.”
Seatings at 5:30 and 8:30 p.m. on Feb. 11 and Feb. 25. Book a table at frame.com.