Modern-day Black cooking isn’t limited to traditional Southern cuisine. Some chefs — not cooks — prepare dishes that are appreciated around the world by the most discerning palates and common food lovers alike. Here are nine who have influenced food culture.
She is perhaps the most well-known of the Black chefs who have made a significant impact, offering delicious entrees with style and substance. She lived and worked by the creed of “whatever you do, do it with style.” Her restaurants in New York and Washington, D.C., were not only places of culinary delight, but they also were beautiful dining rooms that hosted significant events and were places to be seen. Without any formal training, she rose to become a culinary resource for the State Department as well as the star of her NBC show B. Smith with Style, among other landmark feats. Sadly, Alzheimer’s is setting in with Smith, 65. But she has created a legacy that will last generations.
For 50 years, Randall has been a fixture in the culinary world, a trailblazer who is a founding board member of the Southern Foodways Alliance. His recipes have been shared in magazines across the globe. Best of all, this former Air Force flight line chef maintains much of the energy of his youth. He still teaches at Chef Joe Randall’s Cooking School and proudly remains steadfast in dispensing information on culinary education and working community service projects.