For us to help, we need help.

From Hurricane Beryl to fires in Ruidoso, and every crisis in between, Southern Smoke Foundation is there for food and beverage workers. We keep families safe in their homes. We keep the lights on for thousands. We keep the industry moving.

Application Deadlines
Ruidoso fires: Wednesday, July 31, 2024
Hurricane Beryl: Friday, August 16, 2024

For us to grant emergency relief funds to our applicants, we need funding, too.

Help us help someone today.

Ikimi Dubose

Board Member

“Find what you love and let it kill you” is the famous quote wrapped around a global knife tattooed on Ikimi’s back. Destined to be a lawyer to help her Brooklyn community, Ikimi ended up in culinary school by accident. Securing her first job at the World Trade Center Marriott as a silver polisher was a humbling and knowledgeable experience. Ikimi attended Johnson & Wales University, and after graduation, utilized her time traveling the world studying culture through food. Upon her return to the states, she was the youngest and first woman to complete the Marriott & Ritz Carlton management training program. Her career led her to lead culinary and management teams at sports organizations, restaurant groups, and prestigious educational institutions. After leading the culinary team on Capitol Hill through the largest sustainable food initiative, Ikimi rediscovered her passion to mentor the next generation. In August 2017, in conjunction with Lifeworks Restaurant Group, she designed and opened LEO MKT, a food hall in Washington, DC, focusing on cuisines around the world. Known for her ability to create managers, lead large teams, encourage growth of women, and minorities in the business, she hasn’t stopped yet. In the midst of a pandemic, Ikimi co-founded The Roots Fund, a nonprofit for BIPOC to secure education and careers in the wine industry. As the Executive Director, she has already built relationships and created a strong impact in the wine industry. “When there is no room for me at the table, I usually stand on the table.”