Summary

Learn more about these seven black vegan chefs who are revolutionizing plant-based cuisine and impacting their communities for the better.

People all around the world enjoy plant-based food through decadent recipes and unique flavors. For generations, homegrown gardens and crops have kept families fed, with grandparents teaching grandchildren how to live off the land and find nutrition in a variety of edible plant sources. Those recipes have made their way into talented vegan chefs who have made them plant-based so the next generation can still enjoy the classic, delicious flavors while avoiding animal products. 


While black chefs have always helped carry the food industry, revolutionizing and transforming how we view food and nutrition, they don’t always get the recognition they deserve. If you are a plant-based foodie, you probably already know these talented chefs. If you don’t, keep reading! You'll be following them and adding their recipes to your “To Try” list. 


1. Bryant Terry

If you’re looking for talent and passion, Bryant Terry brings that to the table. He is a James Beard and NAACP Image Award-winning chef, author and educator, and activist who wants to create a healthy and just, sustainable food system. Since 2015, he has been a Chef-in Residence at the Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD) in San Francisco, California. There, he creates public programming that involves food, farming, art, culture, activism, and health within the African Diaspora. 


Bryant has published several books that discuss veganism and African-American cuisine, how they play together, and how to eat healthy, sustainable foods. Bryant originally got his M.A. in History from NYU, with an emphasis on the African Diaspora. He then graduated from the Chefs Training Program at the Natural Gourmet Institute for Health and Culinary Arts in New York City. 


Good, nutritional food should not be difficult to come by, which Bryant Terry stresses. His work is all about making plant-based food delicious and attainable, so everyone can give it a try and not feel left out of the community. 


2. Babette Davis

At the young age of 70, Babette Davis is proving just how meaningful a plant-based diet can be. Babette has been a vegan and raw food chef for over 25 years and just might inspire you to eat more plant-based meals. 


Her own inspiration for eating plant-based stemmed from years of health-related issues. She had troubles with digestive issues, skin disorders, and asthma, which led to her testing our recipes in her own kitchen to find ways to benefit her body without losing the food she loved. 


When Davis wanted to open up a vegan restaurant in West Los Angeles, people doubted that the food would do well in the area. But she knew that if the food was available, the people would eat it and that “west of La Brea Avenue” did not need another vegan restaurant. 


People often fear that going plant-based means losing out on a variety of your favorite recipes, but that’s not always the case. There are plenty of ways to make meals you love plant-based, and Chef Babette understands just how to do this. With gumbos and pizzas, you can find inspiration from many of her meals. 


If you want to look just as good as her when you are 70, you might want to start paying attention to how she lives her life!


3. Brenda and Aaron Beener

Who doesn’t love a mother-son duo in the kitchen? Food and family go hand-in-hand, and Brenda and Aaron Beener work together to create delicious vegan foods in Harlem, NYC. 


If you are skeptical that plant-based dishes can be both delicious and fulfilling, we dare you to take a trip to Seasoned Vegan in Harlem to try some of their meals. You are bound to find something you are familiar with on their menu, as they take inspiration from all over the world to prepare their dishes. 


Brenda and Aaron specialize in soul food, which to them is any kind of food that a chef prepares with love and flavorful ingredients. They take cuisines from all over and give their own special vegan, home-cooked, and soulful twist. They aren’t solely focused on Southern United States cuisine and instead emphasize the effort and care that goes into making food their own. 


If you are a plant-based food lover, you will want to find a way to get your hands on some of their food.


4. Francesca Chaney

Francesa Chaney is what the future of plant-based food looks like. At only 25 years old, she is the owner of Sol Sips in Brooklyn, a vegan cafe that wants to give back to its community. 


She opened up Sol Sips as a 22-year-old still in college but wanted to share what she had been doing for herself with her community. Francesca is an advocate for healthy food to be accessible to all members of the community, and she actively works to provide for those who might not think a plant-based lifestyle is possible for them. 


Sol Sips offers weekly sliding-scale brunches and free cooking classes to community members to help them get a taste for plant-based cooking. What started as creating nutritional and organic drinks for herself in 4 ingredients or less has blossomed into a full-blown business that works within her community. Her goal was to create a space for people who felt they couldn’t afford the lifestyle but still wanted to be healthy, to come and enjoy her food. 


It’s not an easy task to start up a business when you are a college student, let alone a young black woman trying to navigate her own future. If you are looking for the next big plant-based chef, you should keep your eyes out on Francesa Chaney. She’s only just started an impactful and meaningful career. 


5. Tracye McQuirter, MPH

Do you remember the moment that led you to become plant-based? 


For Tracye McQuirter, it was when she was at Amherst College listening to Dick Gregory talk about the plates of black America and the political, economic, and social reasons why people were eating unhealthy meals. This discussion sent Tracye into a spiral of learning about vegetarianism and veganism, and within a year, she, her sister, and her mother went vegan together. 


Now, Tracye McQuirter is an award-winning public health nutritionist, best-selling author, and trailblazer in the world of veganism. If you want to learn more about plant-based recipes and the lifestyle that comes with them, following Tracye's journey to help get 10 million black women to become vegan in 10 years might help to inspire you to do it too!


When it comes to health and nutrition, Tracye has 35 years of experience. She knows just how important a plant-based diet can be on your overall health, so she is pushing for more people to join the movement. Through her own inspiration, she has pushed many people towards the path of a plant-based diet, and she has no plan on stopping!


6. Aisha “Pinky” Cole

If you keep up with plant-based pop culture, you might have already heard of Pinky Cole. She is the CEO and founder of The Slutty Vegan out of Atlanta, Georgia. She started her business by selling vegan burgers off of Instagram out of her two-bedroom apartment, and soon she was selling burgers out of a mobile truck all around Atlanta.


The Slutty Vegan serves mouth-watering, fulfilling burgers with plant-based protein that will have you reaching for another napkin. While her food is messy and loaded, one of Pinky’s main goals with her business is to provide scholarships funds for students enrolled at her alma mater, Clark Atlanta University. She also provides laptops and fresh produce to the community and works with victims of police brutality in her neighborhood to make sure that their families are taken care of. 


Change comes when the community is supporting it, and Pinky’s goal is to provide support for those in need of change. She’s given back to a community that helped raise her in the best way she knows how: with healthy and delicious food.


7. Lemel Durrah

As someone who grew up in a food desert, where fast food is everywhere, but a home-cooked meal is hard to come by, Lemel Durrah understands the importance of nutritious foods. He began a 21-day fast where he ate only things from the earth and saw the shift in his health and mind. He began Compton Vegan as a delivery service, like our own here at Thistle, where he provided vegan soul food to his community, but it evolved into much more. 


Lemel wants to promote a healthier lifestyle to people in his community, so they know that there is good, healthy food out there waiting to be eaten. Now, Lemel works to educate people on the food they are consuming when they eat from Compton Vegan. He wants to show people how to change their relationship with food and start on the path towards plant-based foods. In a place that lacks plant-based representation, Lemel is doing work that will influence the next generation of great chefs from Compton. 


Celebrate Black Chefs and Their Accomplishments This Month

The dining industry is more diverse than you might imagine, but so many black chefs don’t get the attention they deserve. Celebrate February this year by celebrating the delicious vegan food that these black chefs are dreaming up. 


Sources:


Nutritional Update for Physicians: Plant-Based Diets | NCBI 


The Effects Of Plant-Based Diets On The Body And The Brain: A Systematic Review | NCBI


Plant‐Based Diets Are Associated With a Lower Risk of Incident Cardiovascular Disease, Cardiovascular Disease Mortality, and All‐Cause Mortality in a General Population of Middle‐Aged Adults | Journal of the American Heart Association


Get meals delivered to your door
We believe eating delicious is crucial to a healthy diet. Each week, our team of chefs design a new menu for what's in season, fresh and flavorful.
TRY THISTLE
Posted 
Feb 3, 2022
 in 
Community
 category.
Summary

Learn more about these seven black vegan chefs who are revolutionizing plant-based cuisine and impacting their communities for the better.

People all around the world enjoy plant-based food through decadent recipes and unique flavors. For generations, homegrown gardens and crops have kept families fed, with grandparents teaching grandchildren how to live off the land and find nutrition in a variety of edible plant sources. Those recipes have made their way into talented vegan chefs who have made them plant-based so the next generation can still enjoy the classic, delicious flavors while avoiding animal products. 


While black chefs have always helped carry the food industry, revolutionizing and transforming how we view food and nutrition, they don’t always get the recognition they deserve. If you are a plant-based foodie, you probably already know these talented chefs. If you don’t, keep reading! You'll be following them and adding their recipes to your “To Try” list. 


1. Bryant Terry

If you’re looking for talent and passion, Bryant Terry brings that to the table. He is a James Beard and NAACP Image Award-winning chef, author and educator, and activist who wants to create a healthy and just, sustainable food system. Since 2015, he has been a Chef-in Residence at the Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD) in San Francisco, California. There, he creates public programming that involves food, farming, art, culture, activism, and health within the African Diaspora. 


Bryant has published several books that discuss veganism and African-American cuisine, how they play together, and how to eat healthy, sustainable foods. Bryant originally got his M.A. in History from NYU, with an emphasis on the African Diaspora. He then graduated from the Chefs Training Program at the Natural Gourmet Institute for Health and Culinary Arts in New York City. 


Good, nutritional food should not be difficult to come by, which Bryant Terry stresses. His work is all about making plant-based food delicious and attainable, so everyone can give it a try and not feel left out of the community. 


2. Babette Davis

At the young age of 70, Babette Davis is proving just how meaningful a plant-based diet can be. Babette has been a vegan and raw food chef for over 25 years and just might inspire you to eat more plant-based meals. 


Her own inspiration for eating plant-based stemmed from years of health-related issues. She had troubles with digestive issues, skin disorders, and asthma, which led to her testing our recipes in her own kitchen to find ways to benefit her body without losing the food she loved. 


When Davis wanted to open up a vegan restaurant in West Los Angeles, people doubted that the food would do well in the area. But she knew that if the food was available, the people would eat it and that “west of La Brea Avenue” did not need another vegan restaurant. 


People often fear that going plant-based means losing out on a variety of your favorite recipes, but that’s not always the case. There are plenty of ways to make meals you love plant-based, and Chef Babette understands just how to do this. With gumbos and pizzas, you can find inspiration from many of her meals. 


If you want to look just as good as her when you are 70, you might want to start paying attention to how she lives her life!


3. Brenda and Aaron Beener

Who doesn’t love a mother-son duo in the kitchen? Food and family go hand-in-hand, and Brenda and Aaron Beener work together to create delicious vegan foods in Harlem, NYC. 


If you are skeptical that plant-based dishes can be both delicious and fulfilling, we dare you to take a trip to Seasoned Vegan in Harlem to try some of their meals. You are bound to find something you are familiar with on their menu, as they take inspiration from all over the world to prepare their dishes. 


Brenda and Aaron specialize in soul food, which to them is any kind of food that a chef prepares with love and flavorful ingredients. They take cuisines from all over and give their own special vegan, home-cooked, and soulful twist. They aren’t solely focused on Southern United States cuisine and instead emphasize the effort and care that goes into making food their own. 


If you are a plant-based food lover, you will want to find a way to get your hands on some of their food.


4. Francesca Chaney

Francesa Chaney is what the future of plant-based food looks like. At only 25 years old, she is the owner of Sol Sips in Brooklyn, a vegan cafe that wants to give back to its community. 


She opened up Sol Sips as a 22-year-old still in college but wanted to share what she had been doing for herself with her community. Francesca is an advocate for healthy food to be accessible to all members of the community, and she actively works to provide for those who might not think a plant-based lifestyle is possible for them. 


Sol Sips offers weekly sliding-scale brunches and free cooking classes to community members to help them get a taste for plant-based cooking. What started as creating nutritional and organic drinks for herself in 4 ingredients or less has blossomed into a full-blown business that works within her community. Her goal was to create a space for people who felt they couldn’t afford the lifestyle but still wanted to be healthy, to come and enjoy her food. 


It’s not an easy task to start up a business when you are a college student, let alone a young black woman trying to navigate her own future. If you are looking for the next big plant-based chef, you should keep your eyes out on Francesa Chaney. She’s only just started an impactful and meaningful career. 


5. Tracye McQuirter, MPH

Do you remember the moment that led you to become plant-based? 


For Tracye McQuirter, it was when she was at Amherst College listening to Dick Gregory talk about the plates of black America and the political, economic, and social reasons why people were eating unhealthy meals. This discussion sent Tracye into a spiral of learning about vegetarianism and veganism, and within a year, she, her sister, and her mother went vegan together. 


Now, Tracye McQuirter is an award-winning public health nutritionist, best-selling author, and trailblazer in the world of veganism. If you want to learn more about plant-based recipes and the lifestyle that comes with them, following Tracye's journey to help get 10 million black women to become vegan in 10 years might help to inspire you to do it too!


When it comes to health and nutrition, Tracye has 35 years of experience. She knows just how important a plant-based diet can be on your overall health, so she is pushing for more people to join the movement. Through her own inspiration, she has pushed many people towards the path of a plant-based diet, and she has no plan on stopping!


6. Aisha “Pinky” Cole

If you keep up with plant-based pop culture, you might have already heard of Pinky Cole. She is the CEO and founder of The Slutty Vegan out of Atlanta, Georgia. She started her business by selling vegan burgers off of Instagram out of her two-bedroom apartment, and soon she was selling burgers out of a mobile truck all around Atlanta.


The Slutty Vegan serves mouth-watering, fulfilling burgers with plant-based protein that will have you reaching for another napkin. While her food is messy and loaded, one of Pinky’s main goals with her business is to provide scholarships funds for students enrolled at her alma mater, Clark Atlanta University. She also provides laptops and fresh produce to the community and works with victims of police brutality in her neighborhood to make sure that their families are taken care of. 


Change comes when the community is supporting it, and Pinky’s goal is to provide support for those in need of change. She’s given back to a community that helped raise her in the best way she knows how: with healthy and delicious food.


7. Lemel Durrah

As someone who grew up in a food desert, where fast food is everywhere, but a home-cooked meal is hard to come by, Lemel Durrah understands the importance of nutritious foods. He began a 21-day fast where he ate only things from the earth and saw the shift in his health and mind. He began Compton Vegan as a delivery service, like our own here at Thistle, where he provided vegan soul food to his community, but it evolved into much more. 


Lemel wants to promote a healthier lifestyle to people in his community, so they know that there is good, healthy food out there waiting to be eaten. Now, Lemel works to educate people on the food they are consuming when they eat from Compton Vegan. He wants to show people how to change their relationship with food and start on the path towards plant-based foods. In a place that lacks plant-based representation, Lemel is doing work that will influence the next generation of great chefs from Compton. 


Celebrate Black Chefs and Their Accomplishments This Month

The dining industry is more diverse than you might imagine, but so many black chefs don’t get the attention they deserve. Celebrate February this year by celebrating the delicious vegan food that these black chefs are dreaming up. 


Sources:


Nutritional Update for Physicians: Plant-Based Diets | NCBI 


The Effects Of Plant-Based Diets On The Body And The Brain: A Systematic Review | NCBI


Plant‐Based Diets Are Associated With a Lower Risk of Incident Cardiovascular Disease, Cardiovascular Disease Mortality, and All‐Cause Mortality in a General Population of Middle‐Aged Adults | Journal of the American Heart Association


Get meals delivered to your door
We believe eating delicious is crucial to a healthy diet. Each week, our team of chefs design a new menu for what's in season, fresh and flavorful.
TRY THISTLE
Posted 
Feb 3, 2022
 in 
Community
 category.