Want to eat more plant-based foods but aren’t sure where to start? These nine Black vegan chefs are experts in their field. Follow their lead and you may just forget all about eating meat or other animal-based products.
9 Black Vegan Chefs That Will Make You Forget About Meat
1. Rachel Ama
Rachel Ama is a recipe blogger, YouTuber, and author. Her vegan cookbook “Rachel Ama’s Vegan Eats: Tasty Plant-Based Recipes For Every Day” was released in 2019 and features quick, one-pot recipes. Many are inspired by her Caribbean and West African roots, and all come together with ingredients you can easily find in your local supermarket.
If you want more, Ama’s YouTube channel is filled with a wide variety of recipe videos. She shows you how to make everything from £1 vegan student meals to soy-free recipes to the ultimate vegan cheese toastie. Check it out here.
2. Jenné Claiborne
Jenné Claiborne is a vegan personal chef, YouTuber, recipe blogger, and cooking instructor. Her blog Sweet Potato Soul is filled with easy, healthy, delicious plant-based recipes. As is her book “Sweet Potato Soul: 100 Easy Vegan Recipes for the Southern Flavors of Smoke, Sugar, Spice, and Soul: A Cookbook,” and her YouTube channel, also titled SweetPotatoSoul. Check it out here.
Claiborne writes on her blog: “I’m a Georgia Peach living in Los Angeles (by way of NYC), with an insatiable love of sweet potatoes, travel, animals, and cooking.”
3. Bryant Terry
Bryant Terry is a James Beard award-winning vegan chef, food justice activist, and author. He is currently the chef-in-residence at the Museum of the African Diaspora in San Francisco and has published five cookery books. His most recent book, titled “Vegetable Kingdom,” features 100 recipes, each based around fresh, plant-based ingredients. For each dish, Terry utilizes creative new techniques to “build flavor and texture.” Buy it here.
Want more? Terry’s other cookery books are “Afro-Vegan,” “The Inspired Vegan,” “Vegan Soul Kitchen,” and “Grub.”
4. Aisha ‘Pinky’ Cole
Aisha “Pinky” Cole is the founder of Slutty Vegan. Based in Atlanta, the burger concept was an instant hit after its launch in 2018 and remains popular among celebrities and locals alike. Last year, Tyler Perry visited the restaurant and jokingly accused the servers of lying about the burgers being plant-based. He said: “this is too good to be vegan. This is really good.”
According to an interview Cole did with Parade last year, on a typical day, she serves more than 1,000 customers vegan burgers. Find out more about the restaurant here.
5. Brenda Beener
Together with her son Aaron, Brenda Beener runs Seasoned Vegan in Harlem, New York. Beener focuses on making traditional soul food dishes, but with plant-based ingredients. The menu vegan BBQ Riblets, made with soy, BBQ Crawfish, made with grilled burdock root, and Sweet Potato Souflee.
Aside from good food, Beener’s restaurant is all about love. Last year, she told VICE that “food is love” is the founding principle of Seasoned Vegan. She explained, “[I’ve said to my cooks] if you don’t feel like cooking or you come in with an attitude, don’t go near my stove because that vibration goes into the food. If you’re going to step to my stove, step to my stove with love.” Find out more about Seasoned Vegan here.
6. Stacey Dougan
Stacey Dougan is an internationally-renowned expert gourmet vegan and raw foods chef and nutritionist. She owns Simply Pure, a plant-based cafe and restaurant in Downtown Las Vegas. Dougan’s family-friendly menu provides a wide range of cooked and raw options, including enchiladas, lasagna, nachos, and tacos.
Simply Pure is more than just a restaurant; in the future, it will also offer cooking courses with Dougan herself, where customers can learn together to cook “real food from real plants.” Dougan also offers personal chef services and catering for weddings, corporate events, and holiday events. Find out more about Simply Pure here.
7. Charity Morgan
Famous for her work cooking for the Tennesee Titans, Charity Morgan is passionate about opening up people’s minds to the plant-based lifestyle with healthy, nutritious foods. She has over 15 years’ worth of experience in the food industry and holds a degree from Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts.
Morgan has coined the term “plegan,” which, she explains on her website, “is an inclusive space for people that have a non-animal based diet.” Her website is home to a number of “plegan” recipes, as well as her own chef’s tips on transitioning to a plant-based lifestyle, and a range of merchandise. Check it out here.
8. Tracye McQuirter
Public health nutritionist and vegan of 33 years Tracye McQuirter is the author of “By Any Greens Necessary,” a comprehensive guide on how to go vegan, written specifically for Black women. It includes more than 40 “delicious and nutritious” plant-based recipes, as well as meal plans, and advice on how to transition from meat-eater to plant-based.
To mark the tenth anniversary of the book, McQuirter has announced a new program to help 10,000 Black women go vegan. In a promotional video for the campaign, which will launch in October, she said: “while Black women are leaders in so many progressive ways, we are in a crisis when it comes to our health.” Find out more about the program here.
McQuirter also wrote “Ageless Vegan: The Secret to a Long and Healthy Plant-Based Life” with her mother Mary. It includes more than 100 plant-based recipes and a 14-step guide on how to go vegan.
9. Ayindé Howell
You may already be familiar with Ayindé Howell’s work. The life-long vegan and restaurant-trained professional chef is the creator of Mac & Yease, a creamy, nutritious dairy-free mac and cheese, available at select Whole Foods Hot Bars. Howell adapted the recipe from a dish his grandmother used to make, which included animal-based ingredients.
According to Corey Smith, the prepared food’s coordinator for Whole Foods Market Southern Pacific region, Mac & Yease is “one of the best Southern-style, baked vegan macaroni and cheeses” available.
Howell has also created a Jalapeno Mac & Yease and BKLYN Bolognese sauce. Shop for Howell’s dishes here.
If you love Howell’s creations, he has also co-authored a cookbook packed with 80 delicious plant-based recipes, designed specifically for those situations when one person “wants a cheeseburger and the other wants a tempeh slider.” Buy it here.