Passionate about food, culture and others

Warren Braxton Luckett was working as a wholesale wine distributor when he first met Karinn Andrea Chavarria in April 2016 at the Menu of Menus culinary event held at Silver Street Studios in Houston.

“I should have focused on promoting my wines, but this amazing woman had an aura around her,” said Mr Luckett, 37.

After introducing himself, he learned she was in a relationship, so “I planted my seed by giving her my business card and my most charming smile,” he said. Before splitting, the two, who lived in Houston, also connected on social media.

Seven months later, Ms Chavarria, 33, popped up on Mr Luckett’s Instagram feed and he reached out to invite her to an event. Although she agreed, Ms Chavarria was still with her then-boyfriend and Mr Luckett’s interest eventually evaporated.

It was during this time that Mr. Luckett, a graduate of Morehouse College and holder of an MBA from Texas Southern University, founded Black Restaurant Week in Houston. The event, which promotes black-owned restaurants and culinary businesses, has since expanded to other cities.

Mr Luckett had thought about the deaths of Michael Brown, in 2014, and Alton Sterling, in 2016. He noticed a growing awareness among black millennials like him who wanted to take action. He kept coming back to the idea of ​​the family table and decided that combining his love of food and business was the way to go.

“My hope was to use Black Restaurant Week as a way to showcase the city’s diverse black food scene,” he said of the original event in Houston.

In December 2017, about a year after he last saw Ms Chavarria, Mr Luckett met her at an event where she worked as a model serving drinks.

“Karinn seemed friendlier than in the past,” he said. “She had a twinkle in her eye and her energy was completely different.”

They soon began dating, visiting spas, and attending art exhibits and wine tastings together. In August 2018, Mr Luckett hosted a charity event which doubled as Ms Chavarria’s 30th birthday party. With his help, “I was able to get my philanthropy birthday wish,” she said. “It really made me fall in love with him.”

Like Mr Luckett, Ms Chavarria said she had “always had an interest in the culinary world”, noting that “in my twenties I spent time as a food blogger and recipe developer”. In 2019, following his success with Black Restaurant Week, Mr. Luckett and Ms. Chavarria launched Latin Restaurant Weeks in Houston. The event, which has since expanded to other cities as well, promotes and supports “those who I consider to be the backbone of the culinary industry — Latinos and Latinas,” she said.

That same year, Mr. Luckett moved to Atlanta to be closer to his 14-year-old daughter from a previous relationship and to help expand the family wine distribution business, Branwar Wines in Houston. Ms. Chavarria, who currently works in marketing for Equifax, the credit reporting agency in Atlanta, moved in with him soon after.

Mr. Luckett proposed to her on August 21, 2021, when the two were visiting Costa Rica. They were hiking to Arenal Volcano and “when we reached the top, I got down on my knees and asked the love of my life to marry me,” he said.

The couple were married on May 5 by Harry Bowden, a Fulton County Magistrate’s Court judge, at his home in Atlanta. On May 14, they held a wedding celebration with 80 guests at Villa Punto de Vista, a private estate in Quepos, Costa Rica.

“Our marriage was a true testament to how attentive Warren listens and how he will always make sure I’m happy,” Ms. Chavarria said. “Even if it means traveling to the rainforest.”

About Jonathan Bell

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