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Photos From Washingtonian’s Food for Thought Festival, Presented by PepsiCo

Guests enjoyed an evening of tasty dishes while learning more about PepsiCo's initiatives supporting Black- and Hispanic- Owned businesses.

On May 10th, 2022, Washingtonian held its inaugural Food for Thought Festival, presented by PepsiCo, at the Hill Center at Old Naval Hospital. Over 350 guests enjoyed a variety of dishes from 13 of the area’s Black- and Hispanic- owned hospitality businesses, and were invited to vote for their favorite dish and restaurant using custom PepsiCo branded wooden nickels. Attendees sipped on summer-inspired cocktails courtesy of Breakthru Beverage Group and enjoyed branded lawn games provided by Snap Entertainment. PepsiCo provided LIFEWTR and Bubly sparkling water stations where guests could sample a wide selection of flavors. Bond Events supplied furniture for the PepsiCo lounge at Little Pearl where guests enjoyed a specialty menu of snacks made using Frito Lay products and learned more about PepsiCo’s newest initiatives. Photo booth’s provided by Washington Talent Agency allowed guests to take photos decorated with the PepsiCo logo. Mixing Maryland DJs kept the event going with an amazing soundtrack.

During the event, PepsiCo’s Vice President of External Affairs Kenny Thompson and Washingtonian food editor Anna Spiegel awarded the People’s Choice Award to DistinctTaste and the Critics’ Choice Award to Sandovan Restaurant & Lounge.

Thank you to our partner PepsiCo for making this event possible.

Thank you to the participating restaurants and hospitality businesses: Ben’s Chili Bowl, Chef’s of the Streets, Colada Shop, DistinctTaste, El Tamarindo, Kitchen Cray Cafe, Miss Toya’s Southern Cajun Kitchen, Po Boy Jim, Queen Mother’s, Ruby Reds Vegan Meal Delivery, Sandovan Restaurant and Lounge, Soup Up, and Suga & Spice.

Thank you to our event partners: ACME, Bond Events, Breakthru Beverage Group, Herc Power Rentals, Hill Center at Old Naval Hospital, Mixing Maryland, Please Bring Chips, Select Event Group, Snap Entertainment and Washington Talent Agency.

Photographs by Dan Swartz/Revamp, Jeff Elkins and Howard Lansat.

Members of the PepsiCo team gathered for a group photo
Sherrian Thompson and Deriece Harrington
Susan Farkas and Kenny Thompson
Ackeda Gayle and Donna Henry of Soup Up
Guests were able to vote for their favorite restaurant using branded wooden coins
Po Boy Jim served delicious mini po’boys and beignets
Sarah McCreary and Mario Monte with their corn and cheese empanadas
Alexis Garner, Ben Branch, and Tasia Jackson
Guests were able to learn more about PepsiCo’s various initiatives
Kenny Thompson and Heather Podesta
Leyha Williams
Steven Tiller, Shanttel Liberato, Brandon Daniels, L.J. Moore, Jeni Hansen, and Ty Strong
Amani White, Daouda Coulibaly, and Crystalle Jackson
Israel Nery, Taylor Poltzer, Rafael Hurtado Jr, and Jessenia Guerra
Chef Bryan Nails of DistinctTaste serving his crowd pleasing crab cakes
Charlene Denizard of PepsiCo and Rock Harper of Queen Mother’s
Sharon Carney, Mary Goldsmith, and Katie Novaria
Timothy Lowery, Sarah Towles, Cathy Merrill, and Congressman Brendan Boyle
Blayre and Maurice Owens
Furard Tate, Jan Baker, Qyana M. Stewart, and Frank Lewis
John Day and Brandi Coates
Bryan Nails of DistinctTaste who was named the winner of thePeople’s Choice Award with Sandra Subahwon of Sandovan Restaurant & Lounge who won the Critic’s Choice Award
Candace Procter and Mike Hayes
Tizita Abebe, Vida Ali, Taylor Lustig, and Patrick Haig
LIFE WTR and bubly stations were provided to keep attendees hydrated and refreshed
Armani Reede and Dr. Ruby Lathon
Arli Lima and Samantha Archer
Shamara Watson of Chef’s of the Streets sharing a sautéed kale and peppers dish with a guest
Ana Reyes, Evelyn Andrade, and Carolina Zelaya of El Tamarindo
Libby Russell, Ashley Orr, and Kaleb Korol
PepsiCo Lounge attendees were able to enjoy exquisite tastings from Little Pearl