Twice-Married Metro Atlanta Couple Blends Love and Authenticity Into ‘Forks & Flavors’
If you ask David Wilmott, 38, and Darnell Morgan, 34, co-owners of the new Kennesaw restaurant Forks & Flavors how long they’ve been married, you’ll likely encounter a moment of awkward silence followed by laughter that comes from a place deep inside their bellies indicating to anyone within earshot that there is a story behind their reaction.
“A year and a month this time,” said Morgan, as he interrupts the laughter to explain the couple’s complex history that led them down the aisle and to divorce court before ultimately remarrying and opening their restaurant in 2020.
Morgan, an Atlanta native and former nurse who runs the restaurant’s front of house, and Wilmott, a Greensboro, NC native and former accountant who runs the kitchen as Executive Chef, met on Twitter 11 years ago. The pair initially married in 2015 and by 2017 were finalizing their divorce.
“I pushed for the divorce. We got the divorce, and I pushed for us to get back together,” said Morgan. “So I was kinda the antagonist throughout the beginning part of the relationship for the first five or six years. And then eventually, you know, I realized I needed to grow up and I couldn't live without him,” he said.
Morgan says he took an inventory of his life and where he wanted to be in the next 20 to 30 years along with who he wanted by his side “and it all pointed back to being with David.” Wilmott, who says the pair never stopped communicating after their divorce was finalized, says although he initially had doubts about reuniting with Morgan, “as we began to communicate a little more, I was like, okay, I think we can do this again. I think it could work,” he said.
And so far, it has. The partners in business and love turned a successful catering business started by Wilmott in 2014 that boasted celebrity clients such as T.I. & Tiny, R&B singer Monica, and the cast of Bravo reality series Married To Medicine into a full-fledged restaurant with the opening of Forks & Flavors in July 2020. With statistics showing that 60% of new restaurants fail within the first year, Wilmott says he was reluctant to transition from catering to operating a restaurant full time, but that was before an encounter in 2013 with a manager at the now-shuttered Diamond Dave’s Steakhouse in Kennesaw put them on the path to becoming restaurateurs.
“If you want flavor, then you should have gone to Taco Bell,” Wilmott recalls in disbelief at the manager’s reaction to their complaint after Morgan was served a fried taco he remembers tasted like fish.
“He went off on a tangent,” said Wilmott of Morgan’s reaction to the manager. “I was in shock. Like, she really said that. It caught us both off guard. And in 2014, I was like, let's open a restaurant. Of course, we didn't do much in 14. We just did all the background stuff to get the business started in 2015. I think we held our first tasting, which went well. We did a few events in 2015 and 2016. We didn't really do much in 16—that was when we started going through our divorce. And then things really started to take off in 2017,” he said.
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