Black chefs and cooks have helped shape the way Americans eat since the country’s earliest days. They brought ingredients and cooking techniques to these shores of Africa; developed an extensive repertoire of dishes now collectively known as “south”; and more recently have become celebrity chefs and restaurateurs, mastering other cuisines, honoring the food traditions of the African diaspora, and expanding the definition of what American cuisine, deeply rooted in African American culture, can and should be. . (These Are Iconic Southern Foods Every American Should Know About.)
While the names of many key black culinary figures from ancient times have unfortunately been lost to history, their legacies persist to the present day, and the contemporary culinary scene in America is rich in chefs of color who, thankfully, are recognized and praised – although their representation in leadership positions in professional restaurant kitchens is still far behind where it should be.
To compile a list of 24 black chefs you should know, living and deceased, 24/7 Tempo consulted articles and listings in numerous culinary and general-interest publications, including Black Kitchen Review, African American Chefs Hall of Fame, Vittles, Taste of home, the New York Times, black pastand Delight.
Click here to learn more about 24 black chefs you should know