These foodies and chefs have three things in common: they’re amazingly talented, they have a unique approach to food, and they have gorgeous melanin. From Nicole Taylor’s inventive
Cherokee Rose Poundcake, to Murielle Banackissa’s flavorful Beet and Berry Ginger Smoothie Bowl, each food connoisseur shares a piece of themselves through their recipes. Whether they were lawyers or worked on Wall Street in their former lives, somehow food has brought them together.
Although the culinary world may not display the diversity that exists within it, we’re shining a light on these gifted cooks who hold the power to create lasting memories by transforming simple ingredients. When we reflect on some of our fondest memories, great food is often the bridge that connects us. These
15 Talented Black Chefs and Foodies have masterfully infused their experiences into recipes we all can enjoy! — Emerald
Robyn Andrea Burgess is the owner of
, a website that features recipes made with local and seasonal produce. At the tender age of 15, Robyn was working at one of Washington D.C.'s top restaurants. Her undergraduate studies in Anthropology piqued her interest all the more, prompting her to explore where food and culture intersect. Check out her
Whiskey Cream Puffs with Cinnamon Apple Caramel
recipe that's equal parts decadent and delicate.
Georgia native Nicole Taylor successfully merges northern and southern cuisine in her cookbook,
The Up South: Chasing Dixie In A Brooklyn Kitchen
. Nicole combines her rich southern roots with city-market savvy to create recipes that are unexpected but welcome. Her
Cherokee Rose Poundcake
couples a traditional southern poundcake with the gentle and fragrant notes of the Cherokee Rose.
Christmas Morning Cinnamon Rolls
are created from a recipe that was passed down from her Aunt Laura over 60 years ago. You can make these rolls any time of the year, and they're guaranteed to be fluffy with just the right balance of cinnamon and sugar. She learned to cook from her grandmother, who taught her to use her eyes and instincts to adjust recipes. Dora's cookbook,
A Real Southern Cook, In Her Savannah Kitchen
, gathers all her southern comfort favorites in one place.
Cheryl Day is co-owner of the
Back In The Day Bakery
along with her husband, Griffith. In 2002, they opened their quaint shop in sunny Savannah, GA. Cheryl loves the process of kneading dough from scratch and making the crimps with her fingers.
Cheryl's Chocolate Chess Pie
is made with cocoa powder, vanilla and a dash of nutmeg to spice up this classic recipe.
Jocelyn Delk Adams' cookbook,
, is filled with intimate stories about her family and how cooking has created lasting memories between them. Her
Sweet Potato Poundcake
combines sweet potatoes into a fluffy, moist and decadent poundcake. Jocelyn doesn't believe in skimping on the sugar, butter or cream, and I'm going to have to agree with her!
Mashama Bailey is the head chef of
, a restaurant nestled in downtown Savannah, GA. Its design successfully fastens itself to the old and new, merging historic details with sleek, modern charm. Her
recipe is a tasty mix of pickled vegetables that can be enjoyed all by itself, or you can try it on top of your favorite chicken, beef or pork entrees.
Erika Council is the owner of
, a cooking website with deep roots in her southern upbringing. She hosts a monthly supper club called
South x Saints
, where she whips up traditional favorites with an unorthodox twist. You have to try her
Strawberry Lemon Cream Shortcakes
recipe! A sweet strawberry compote is cradled in a fluffy, scratch-made shortcake. It's the perfect balance of savory and sweet.
Kari and Lij Heron are the award-winning husband and wife duo behind the successful blog,
Chef and Steward
. Lij is the head chef at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel and Kari is a former broadcast journalist turned food photographer. As Jamaican expats living in the United Arab Emirates, they deliver a wide variety of recipes, full of spice and flavor. Their
Jamaican Jerk Turkey
recipe is one that you won't want to wait until Thanksgiving to try!
The inspiration for
started one day when Jaynelle St. Jean decided to give pie slices out of the window to neighborhood passersby. The restaurant's tagline, "Random Acts of Sweetness," is the catalyst behind the successful Bay Area business. Jaynelle's
Chestnut Cream Pie
takes an often overlooked ingredient and transforms it into a creamy and indulgent pie.
Bryant Terry is a chef, educator and author. His cookbook, "
Vegan Soul Kitchen
," omits heavy salt, refined sugar and the "bad fats," associated with soul food cooking. Instead he enlists fresh, whole and healthy ingredients that still deliver bold and inventive flavors. His
Pan Fried Grit Cakes with Crispy Leeks, Garlic and Thyme
is a refreshing take on an old-time favorite. Bryant has been featured in O: The Oprah Magazine, Food and Wine and can also be seen in the PBS documentary, "
Soul Food Junkies."
Murielle Banackissa is a foodie and philanthropist. Her recipes are always made with fresh and nutrient-dense ingredients to nourish the body and entice the palette. Her
Beet & Berry Ginger Smoothie Bowl
adds a yummy homemade granola to the mix, embracing both sweetness and texture. Murielle is also the owner of
, an online boutique that empowers artisans in rural Guatemala to generate income for their community and families.
left a successful career on Wall Street to pursue his culinary dreams. On his popular blog,
The Hungry Hutch
, he shares delicious recipes that take him back to his childhood. His
Turkey Stuffed Zucchini Boat
recipe utilizes one of my favorite vegetables as the vehicle for a delicious turkey and cheese filling.
You may recognize
Chef Tiffany Derry
from her appearances on shows such as Top Chef, Bar Rescue or Bobby's Dinner Table, to name few. At the age of 17, Tiffany made history by gaining a manager position at her local IHOP. From there, she went on to the Art Institute of Houston. After graduating, she worked in various esteemed kitchens and evolved into the chef you see today. Her
Korean Short Ribs Marinade
will satisfy your Asian food craving with authentic Far East flavor!