Women’s History Month (March) is a time to reflect on the many contributions of women worldwide in various sectors. The culinary industry is currently bursting with talented black women who are giving a boost to much needed diversity in the field. During each day this month, we’re celebrating Black women who are adding their imprint to the food world. From chefs to food bloggers and culinary historians, these 31 Black women are shaking things up through food in their respective lanes.
Carla is a co-host of ABC’s Emmy Award winning food and lifestyle series “The Chew”. A chef and cookbook author, Carla’s contributions to contemporary food culture is immense with appearances on Bravo’s “Top Chef” and “Top Chef: All Stars”, where she captivates audiences with her catchphrase, “Hootie Hoo,” while sharing her philosophy on cooking with love.
Jerrelle is the mastermind behind the popular blog, Chocolate for Basil, where she shares delicious plant-based earthy recipes. Inspired by the hashtag #Blackgirlmagic, Jerrelle’s debut cookbook “Black Girl Baking: Wholesome Recipes Inspired by a Soulful Upbringing” explores vegan baking while re-inventing food memories that shaped her formative years.
Essie’s love affair with spices started in her mother’s kitchen in Ghana. Coupled with her love for travel, Essie created a line of sauces and spice blends called EssieSpice that ties the unique flavors discovered through her travels with her West African roots.
Haile is a teen health activist and vegan chef who believes in empowering teens with tools and knowledge about plant based foods and nutrition. Through her nonprofit, The Happy Organization, Haile is educating teens worldwide about healthy eating and living.
Nina is the owner and Chef of Compère Lapin. Found in the heart of the Warehouse District of New Orleans, the cuisine at Compère Lapin boasts of Creole influences while paying homage to Nina’s Caribbean roots. A Top Chef Alumnus, Nina was also named Food and Wine 2017 Best New Chef and a finalist for 2017 James Beard Awards for “Best Chef South.”
Rabia is the owner and Chef of Ruby Scoops, a Washington, DC based, locally sourced, handcrafted ice cream, sorbet, sherbet and desserts company. Drawing inspiration from her African Heritage and love for cooking, this “Desserts Queen” is making her mark in the Nation’s capital one sweet tooth at a time.
Eden is a food writer and founder of Blackfoodie, an online platform that celebrates food and culture through a black lens. With a community of foodies, Blackfoodie creates content that highlights the diverse culinary landscape of the black diaspora.
Nyesha is the owner and Chef of Native, a restaurant celebrating progressive Californian cuisine in the multicultural landscape of Los Angeles. A Top Chef Alumnus, Nyesha’s love for cooking started alongside her Korean grandmother at the age of 5. Her multicultural upbringing influences her culinary palate where she fuses various flavors and techniques from different parts of the world.
Vallery is the creator behind the mouthwatering food blog, Foodie In New York. On her blog, Vallery develops recipes that celebrate the food capitals she’s resided in which include Paris, New York City, Los Angeles and New Orleans. Vallery is also the season 3 winner of ABC’s “The Great American Baking” show.
Karelle is a Chef and recipe developer at Les Gourmandises De Karelle, a food blog that features recipes inspired by food traditions from all corners of the African globe. From her kitchen to the world, Karelle is sharing her culinary story one dish at a time.
Toni is a culinary journalist and community activist who is passionate about using cultural heritage and nutrition to promote healthy communities. Through her non-profit, The SANDE Youth Project, Toni has provided public health outreach programs to First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move Initiative. Toni is also the author of the critically acclaimed cookbook “The Jemima Code: Two Centuries of African American Cookbooks”, which won 2016 James Beard Award for “Reference and Scholarship”.
Zoe is the owner and Chef of Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen, a pop-up restaurant in Brixton-London which celebrates the magnetic flavors of the African continent. At her pop-up restaurant and events, Zoe takes her diners on a culinary voyage which explores her Ghanaian and Irish heritage. Inspired by her heritage, Zoe’s debut cookbook “Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen” shares traditional Ghanaian recipes with a modern twist.
Kaluhi shares her love for Kenyan cuisine via her food blog Kaluhi’s Kitchen. Known as one of Kenya’s top food bloggers, Kaluhi is passionate about bringing Kenyan food and recipes to the rest of world.
Jenné is a Vegan Chef and food blogger behind the popular blog Sweet Potato Soul. On her blog, Jenné creates delicious and easy to make vegan recipes which are currently featured in her debut cookbook, “Sweet Potato Soul: 100 Easy Vegan Recipes for the Southern Flavors of Smoke, Sugar, Spice, and Soul.” Jenné is known for adding a soulful flair to plant-based style of living.
Uzo is the Managing Director of Uzo's Food Labs - a growing Food and Home Entertainment company that offers recreational classes to individuals and companies as well as consulting services across several areas to the hospitality industry. Uzo is also passionate about cooking and loves nothing more than rewriting recipes on her blog that reflect her culinary view point - big, bold and punchy flavors.
Jehan is a food blogger and recipe developer for her popular blog Jehan Can Cook. On her blog, Jehan features authentic recipes from Guyana and other parts of the Caribbean.
Therese Nelson is a Chef, as well as founder and culinary curator of Black Culinary History, an organization that connects Chefs of color in an effort to preserve and celebrate the culinary heritage of the Black diaspora. Citing Edna Lewis as her inspiration for cooking, Therese is on a mission to increase visibility of the culinary works of Black food creatives.
Jasmine is the founder of The Black Food Bloggers Club, a platform of over 500 members who use blogs, social media, and other online platforms to promote their food related businesses. This platform also provides an opportunity for black food bloggers to connect while diversifying food media consumption worldwide.
Dr. Harris is the author of 12 critically acclaimed cookbooks documenting the foods and foodways of the Black diaspora. A culinary historian, educator, and author, Dr. Harris is also hailed as an expert on the foodways of the Black diaspora. Her work can be seen at the recently opened National Museum of African American History and Culture, where the intellectual architecture for the museum’s only eatery, Sweet Home Cafe is based on her research paper. Dr. Harris also narrated parts of the museum’s culinary exhibition and donated personal items such as a Chef’s jacket from Leah Chase, a black culinary pioneer.
Kardea Brown is a contemporary Gullah Cook who’s cooking started in her grandmother’s kitchen where she learned her family’s Gullah dishes passed down from generations. Kardea created The Gullah Supper Club, a mobile dining experience that features traditional Gullah dishes with a contemporary twist. Each menu created is a homage to the dishes her grandmother and mother passed down to her.
Swaady is the founder of YSWARA, a gourmet tea brand ethically sourced solely on the African continent. Paying tribute to African elegance and refinement, Swaady’s luxury tea line blends the finest of buds, leaves and spices - allowing drinkers to taste a piece of their story.
Guelila aka “Chef Gully” is a Vegan Chef based in Atlanta, GA. Her passion for cooking started in her mother’s kitchen where she learned Ethiopian family recipes from both her mother and grandmother. Finding a scarcity in vegan food options after switching to a solely vegan lifestyle, Guelila sensed a need to turn her passion for cooking into a business. From her pop-up dining events to her food blog, Guelila wants to make plant-based lifestyle a fun and delicious experience for all.
Nthabiseng who goes by “Chef Nti” is a Chef, food stylist and tv show personality based in South Africa. She currently hosts eTV’s “The Perfect Ace”, and is a regular guest chef on eTV’s morning show “Sunrise.” Nti’s philosophy on food is that it should be easy and fun.
Tiffany is the owner and baker at Pienanny, a gourmet savory and sweet pie company located in Atlanta, Ga. Inspired by her Jamaican-American heritage, Tiffany pours her hodgepodge of cultural experiences into flaky, buttery pies.
Jocelyn is the mastermind behind the popular food blog Grand Baby Cakes, a brand which redefines classic recipes with a modern twist. Inspired by her Grandmother’s cooking, Jocelyn’s blog aims to teach food enthusiasts useful and savvy cooking skills while indulging in some good ole comfort food.
Selassie is the owner and Chef of Midunu, a nomadic restaurant focused on creating food experiences where culture, community and cuisine intersect. Located in Accra, Ghana, Selassie’s nomadic dining experiences source from local and seasonal ingredients along with some traditional grains in an effort to translate Africa’s bounty to the table.
Tokunbo is adding Nigerian cuisine to the culinary landscape of London through her pop-up dining experiences, Tokunbo’s Kitchen. Her supper clubs offer diners the opportunity to indulge in mouthwatering dishes while deeply immersing in Nigerian culture. Let’s just say you never leave Tokunbo’s Kitchen without a full stomach and heart.
Demetra is a Chef and creator of Sweet Savant, a food blog that features recipes, product reviews and helpful tips for cooking.
Fafa is a Chef and creator of “Ndudu by Fafa”, a food blog that showcases the vibrant culinary flavors of Ghana and beyond. She fuses African, Western and Asian ingredients to create her own unique recipes which she shares with the world through her food blog, Youtube page and her cooking show “Ndudu by Fafa” on Sky 235, ABNTV.
Atim is a food blogger and creator of Afrolems, a food blog that showcases the array of flavors unique to Nigerian cuisine. Dubbed as “1 of 5 African food bloggers to follow” by CNN, Atim is on a mission to share Nigerian cuisine with the rest of the world.
Hawa is the creator of Basbaas, a line of hot sauces and chutneys that embody the bold flavors of Somali cuisine with a unique American twist. Inspired by heirloom Somali family recipes, Hawa’s personal passion for her culture and entrepreneurship is the driving force behind the brand.