Updated: May 21, 2022
Exclusive - Married couple David Wilmott and Darnell Morgan are no strangers to what it means to be consistent and persistent while pursuing your passions.
The powerhouse couple exclusively tells Gaye Magazine that their now successful Kennesaw, GA restaurant "Forks & Flavors" started as a humble catering business.
Both David & Darnell put forth the effort and time necessary to build their business and marriage which has ultimately resulted in their restaurant being featured recently on the Food Network’s "Restaurant Impossible". Naturally Gaye caught up with the couple to get the scoop on everything that is Forks & Flavors.
Watch the Trailer Below:
Having met each other on Twitter in 2010 when David (a Gemini) slid into Darnell’s (a Cancer) direct messages to ask if he was still accepting applications for a new best friend, the two have traversed an ocean of circumstances together. And they don’t plan to stop any time soon.
The couple says that their road has certainly been an unconventional and interesting one. After going on a first date to a Ruby Tuesdays in 2010, the couple has been almost inseparable ever since. And after 5 years of the two getting to know each other, Darnell and David married in 2015.
David, who was previously an accountant, says that he was still working full time and was catering on the side but was unfulfilled. He shares that food was always a passion of his, and what he likes most about it is that “food is subjective… It offers diversity, like music.” However, he really didn’t begin to take it seriously until about 2014.
The couple started out by catering small events like baby showers and birthday parties and slowly gained popularity, even appearing on hit shows like "T.I. & Tiny: Family Hustle" and catering at the mayor’s office.
David and Darnell unfortunately split in 2017 which also happens to mark a turning point for the business. Despite the split, the couple still decided to continue as business partners and their catering continued to succeed whilst building a reputation of its own.
Between 2017 and 2020, they decided that they wanted to try and bring the vision of a brick-and-mortar restaurant to life and so, the couple remarried in 2020 and David decided to leave his job as an accountant and dedicate full-time to their catering business.
Unfortunately, the pandemic hit in 2020 and which led them to doing drop offs for funerals and wakes throughout the earlier months more than anything else. However, they did not allow this to slow their momentum. On November 1st, 2020 "Forks & Flavors" opened their doors in Kennesaw, GA. A product of their dedication to a passion and to their partnership together.
When we asked David how they came up with the name, he chuckled a little and said:
“We [David and Darnell] had gone out to eat … we found a Groupon for a spot out in Kennesaw… And so we get there and we order food and the food was nasty… (he laughs) So we’re basically talking to the manager and Darnell is explaining that, you know, this doesn’t taste right … And she’s like, ‘Well if you wanted flavor you should’ve just gone to Taco Bell". So ever since then, that’s been our running joke. That’s how we ended up coming up with a name that has ‘flavor’ in it. So Forks & Flavors.”
It was only a year after opening that a representative from the popular Food Network television series "Restaurant Impossible" reached out to David and Darnell, stating that they were interested in putting the couple’s restaurant on the show. And within 3 months, a producer was sent out to Kennesaw to meet and to begin preparations.
When asked about their experience as business owners prior to the show, Darnell tells us, “It was very interesting...David and I, we’ve never known each other professionally.”
He continues to tell us that he expected that running a restaurant would be a lot like running their home together, when in fact it was completely different.
“[At home] there’s no alpha or beta… we don’t have a heteronormative relationship,” said Darnell, conveying how their home life differs from running a restaurant.
Restaurant Impossible is known to “save” failing restaurants by providing them with a complete make over. David mentions that they “weren’t failing but just making ends meet,” before being recruited for the TV show.
Darnell pitched in to say that they know they may receive a bit of criticism as both Darnell and Chef Robert’s fiery personalities collide on their episode of Restaurant Impossible.
Darnell states that he is an 18-year U.S. Army vet and so “you’re not going to cuss and fuss [at me], and I won’t cuss and fuss back.” He however continues to say that despite the explosion of personalities that “everything that was said was very true and very raw … it was something that was needed.” Both Darnell and David mention that it was certainly a life altering experience and that they both, as well as their staff and the restaurant overall have benefited from the experience.
David tells us that the biggest takeaway he received from the show was the simple fact that the production team and Chef Robert remain accessible and continue to offer sound advice.
“I believe it was something that was needed. And I think just being able to establish those relationships with the whole production team was very helpful. Because they weren’t just here to film. They really helped us and offered suggestion. Chef Robert was really into the whole part of helping … And even when we weren’t filming, he was very transparent with us and was able to give us insight on how to improve individually and together as restaurant owners. So I think the biggest takeaway [from the show] is still having those relationships along with everything they did.”
Darnell advises that before entering a business endeavor with a spouse or partner,
“I would say assess your abilities first. Assess your professional abilities. Because we all know what we personally bring to the table. But there’s never really any discussion about what we professionally bring to the table. Not in the beginning… But if a couple wants to get into business together, do a self-evaluation of who you are professionally, outside of the relationship. And clearly define what your roles and responsibilities are going to be. Because our roles at home are totally different from our roles and responsibilities here at Forks & Flavors. Identify who is going to be in charge of what… But we both have our clearly defined roles of who does what.”
He jokes and says that whereas he’ll attempt to cook at home, at Forks & Flavors he leaves the cooking to Chef David, saying that “He got it!”.
Forks & Flavors in Kennesaw is truly a gem. The Gaye Magazine team had the pleasure of viewing the restaurant's new renovations during their episode premiere party. Furnished with a modern industrial feel inside, everything feels luxe from the moment you step through the doors. David and Darnell have established a wonderful menu that works and is absolutely DELICIOUS.
The food is a delightful mix of southern comfort flavors with a unique twist. And not to mention the drinks will definitely have you feeling yourself by the end of the meal. It’s also important to mention that Forks & Flavors only uses local black owned liquors around their bar. Can you say hashtag #SupportBlackOwnedBusinesses?
Making a business work is no small feat, and to do it as a Black, openly gay married couple adds another layer to maneuvering an interesting situation. However, these two wonderfully kind and funny men make it look absolutely easy.
Gaye family, be sure to check out their episode: 'My Way or the Highway' as featured on Food Network's Restaurant Impossible. And rumor has it that Forks & Flavors boasts an amazing Sunday Brunch that is always lit. Just ask their resident Brunch Brand Ambassador who happens to be there every week without fail, because it’s just THAT good.
Go check out Forks & Flavors in Kennesaw, GA to support two amazing men, while indulging in wonderful food, drinks and a turn up! Make a reservation here: www.forskandflavors.com/reservations
You can watch their full episode (S19 E23 My Way or the Highway) using your cable provider or stream on Hulu or YouTube TV!