Kristi Brown, Chef Goddess of That Brown Girl Cooks!, alongside her son and business partner Damon Bomar, will open their first restaurant at the newly minted Liberty Bank Building (LBB) in just a few short months. How are they feeling about that? Elated.
“This is not going to be your typical restaurant. With so many expectations from such a huge spectrum of Seattle communities, we’re finding our middle ground,” she explains. Chef Kristi spends a lot of time thinking about what she wants people to experience from her expansive history in cooking. In a community that used to be 75% African American and is now 80% White, she plans to honor an ancestry of women who cooked in the Central District while also carving out a space for herself.
“The Liberty Bank Building is a pilgrimage back home,” she reflects. She’s not just speaking about herself coming back to the Central District but of LBB residents, as well. Having been a long time CD resident, Chef understands. She currently lives in affordable housing at Plaza Roberto Maestas on the El Centro de La Raza campus and recognizes the impact of living in intentionally equitable communities here in Seattle.
Chef Kristi wants to use the significance of the Liberty Bank Building, her skill as a chef, and her ties to the African American community to “bring everyone to a table!” particularly in a time of political upheaval.
To perform these miracles, she knows that she and her team have to be ready for this great responsibility. In order to put her talk about community into action, Chef Kristi is collaborating with Trisha Arcaro and has enrolled her entire company in boxing classes at Arcaro Boxing, a long standing tenant in the Jefferson apartments, a Capitol Hill Housing building. Trisha suggested the exercise as self-care, strengthening, and meditation for the upcoming task. Chef Kristi knows she’ll need it – her entire focus is on manifesting this long-awaited dream and building the next level of the That Brown Girl Cooks! empire.