To celebrate the rich history behind Black-owned restaurants, Pepsi is partnering with Marcus Samuelsson for a new mini-episodic docuseries called “You Have to Taste This.” Highlighting the diverse diaspora of Black cuisine in America, from Caribbean to Southern and more, the series kicked off with four episodes starting in the South that will take viewers on a culinary journey by uncovering the stories behind the chefs and their unique travel-worthy dishes.
In each one-to-two-minute episode, Samuelsson will visit a new restaurant across the US, including his own, Red Rooster Overtown in Miami, to sit down with the respective chefs and owners to discuss everything from their own background and business upstart story to the cultural elements that define their cooking, tying it all together with the dish that makes their establishment worth the trip. Across the series, Marcus spotlights:
● Ben’s Chili Bowl, a historic spot in Washi Samuelsson ngton D.C., founded by Virginia Ali, famous for half-smoked sausage, banana pudding, chili dogs and more.
● Dukunoo, a lively Jamaican restaurant, owned by Shrusan Gray, Leonie McKoy, and Rodrick Leighton, in Miami’s Wynwood area known for its jerk chicken, music and cocktails.
● Slutty Vegan, an Atlanta-based vegan hotspot, founded by Pinky Cole, known for their piled-high plant-based burgers.
The content continues the mission behind the Pepsi Dig In platform, to amplify and drive business to Black-owned restaurants.
“With this series for Pepsi Dig In, we wanted to bring Black-owned restaurants to the forefront by honing in on the unique stories behind the food they serve. Marcus’ expertise and experience made him the perfect host to bring these stories to light, and we’ve only just scratched the surface. We hope that viewers are inspired to visit these restaurants and discover their next favorite dish,” said Chauncey Hamlett, Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of PepsiCo Beverages North America (South Division).
The Pepsi Dig In initiative aims to generate at least $100 million in sales for Black-owned restaurants over the next five years. The Dig In platform also serves as an invitation for Black restaurateurs to tap into a variety of resources available from PepsiCo including business services, training, and mentorship.
Episodes of “You Have to Taste This” are live weeklyh across the Pepsi Dig In social platforms via @PepsiDigIn and featured on Marcus Samuelsson's YouTube channel.