The world of food is an ebb and flow of flavor, ingredients, and culture. African Americans have contributed a lot to food culture, with new cooking methods, brilliant revamped flavors, and more. There are so many influential Black chefs that are stepping up and changing how we create, taste, and eat food.
Here’s a list of just a few of the most famous Black chefs who have changed the food game for the better:
- Haile Thomas: When Haile Thomas was 12, she served her food to Michelle Obama and started her own non-profit HAPPY. Now 17, she’s an international speaker and the youngest Certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach in the U.S.
- Joe Randall: Randall is held in high regard for his ability cook, teach, guide, and advise others in profitable food-service operations. He’s worked in the culinary industry for half a century.
- Jeff Henderson: Having served nearly half a decade in prison for drugs, Henderson is now an award-winning chef. He’s become one of the most inspirational Black chefs in America.
- Carla Hall: With a philosophy to always cook with love, Hall believes food connects us all. People fell in love with her when she competed on Bravo’s Top Chef, and now she’s the co-host on the Emmy Award-winning series The Chew.
- B. Smith: “Whatever you do, do it with style.” Now a celebrity chef, Barbara Smith built a culinary empire with no professional training. A culinary ambassador, her career spans a list of impressive projects.
- Ron Duprat: Raised in Haiti, Duprat grew up with a passion for healthy, locally sourced food. He went through some pretty terrible things on his trek to the states and has made sure to give back as a culinary ambassador.
- Marvin Woods: Emmy Award-nominated TV host, celebrity chef, and author of incredible cookbooks, Marvin Woods is widely celebrated. Since 2004, he has worked to start conversation about balancing a healthy lifestyle through food and diet.
- Rodney Scott: The 2018 James Beard best chef of the Southeast, Rodney Scott has completely altered the BBQ game. His infamous whole hog cooking and unbeatable sauce make his restaurant Rodney Scott BBQ one of those places you have to eat at in Charleston.
- Daryl Shular: Daryl Shular was a member of the internationally recognized United States Culinary Olympic Team. He’s also the first ever African American Certified Master Chef.
- Bryant Terry: A James Beard Award-winning chef, Bryant Terry is renowned for his activism to create a healthy and sustainable food system. His cookbook Afro Vegan was named the best cookbook of 2014.