Special Report

24 Black Chefs You Should Know

Black chefs and cooks have helped shape the way Americans eat since the country’s earliest days. They brought ingredients and culinary techniques to these shores from Africa; developed a vast repertoire of dishes now known generically as “Southern;” and in more recent times have become celebrated chefs and restaurateurs, mastering other cuisines, honoring the food traditions of the African diaspora, and expanding the definition of what American cooking, which has deep roots in African-American culture, can and should be. (These are iconic Southern foods every American should know.)

While the names of many key Black culinary figures of earlier times have sadly been lost to history, their legacies persist to the present day, and the contemporary food scene in America is rich with chefs of color who, thankfully, are being recognized and praised – though 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, both living and deceased, 24/7 Tempo consulted articles and lists in numerous culinary and general interest publications, including Cuisine Noir magazine, African American Chefs Hall of Fame, Vittles, Taste of Home, the New York Times, Black Past, and Delish.

Click here to learn about 24 Black chefs you should know

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