Black & Tan Hall is looking for chefs for an ephemeral residency

by Amanda Ong

Dark and fire room is launching a pop-up residency for chefs at the new Black & Tan Hall performance venue and community space slated to open later this year. Recently they created a survey to measure the chefs’ interest in the residence.

“Black & Tan Hall is a black-led, multicultural organization,” Joe Seamons, partner development manager for Black & Tan Hall, said in an interview with the emerald. “So we’re looking for chefs whose cuisine reflects their heritage and whose identities and backgrounds are underrepresented in Seattle in terms of who can have their own restaurant.”

Seamons says the idea for the chef’s residence grew out of two things – the need for a chef in the kitchen of Black & Tan Hall’s new performance space, which has been in the works for over six years, and awareness of community needs during the pandemic.

“Being in a pandemic and the nature of the restaurant industry being so variable, that seems like a good way to create flexibility for our chefs in our business,” Seamons said. “[We want] to ensure that we fulfill our mission to run our hall as a cultural space for community members who need it most.

Currently, what they are looking for in chefs and restaurant pop-ups is extremely flexible. They are open to anything from a week-long pop-up to six-month pop-ups. Right now, Seamons said, they hope to be responsive to community needs first and foremost, which is part of the intent of the survey. Their long-term goal is that after a while one or more of the pop-up chefs will emerge to become a permanent fixture at Black & Tan. But for now, they’ll have to wait and see how the company and their partnerships develop and evolve over time.

In the meantime, Seamons points out that hosting a pop-up at Black & Tan Hall is an exciting opportunity for any chef. “Black & Tan Hall is made up of 27 partners, so you’re going to be forming relationships with some very amazing and wonderful people,” he said. “Our marketing team is strong and growing, so we’ll do everything we can with the word-of-mouth network of our 27 partners and our marketing circle to promote your kitchen to our community…You’ll bring more attention and awareness of your kitchen by participating.

There is also the option of long-term work as a chef at Black & Tan Hall and becoming a partner and co-owner of the business.

“This role is important because we are a company rooted in our values,” Seamons said. “[We are] work to develop an experimental model of how communities can address displacement in their own backyards by establishing cultural spaces that are owned and controlled by the marginalized people in our society… Having the kitchen component of it, having the essential element of food as both a need for survival and a tool for building community, is critical to the success of the model we are working to build.

Learn more about the pop-up chef residency program at Black & Tan Hall’s website and fill their inquiry of interest. The Black & Tan Hall performance venue will open in late 2022 at 5608 Rainier Ave. S.

Amanda Ong (she) is a Chinese-American writer from California. She is currently a master’s candidate in the University of Washington’s Museology program and graduated from Columbia University in 2020 with degrees in Creative Writing and Ethnic and Racial Studies.

📸 Featured Image: Black & Tan Hall is looking for chefs for pop-up events at its Hillman City venue. (Photo: Jared Baz)

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