By - February 1, 2019

Breaking down barriers in the food industry


Black History Month is an annual celebration of achievements by African Americans and a time for recognizing their central role in U.S. history. However, it doesn’t end with our history books. Let’s take a look at these talented chefs who don’t just whip up award-winning cuisine, they fight local and global hunger while they’re at it.

Haile Thomas

Haile (pictured bottom-left) is a Jamaican-American international speaker, youth health activist, vegan food and lifestyle influencer, the youngest Certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach in the U.S. and the founder and CEO of the nonprofit HAPPY (Healthy Active Positive Purposeful Youth). If that’s not impressive enough, Haile did all of this before the age of 18!

B. Smith

B. Smith (pictured top-right) is a former restaurateur, magazine publisher, celebrity chef and is nationally known as a lifestyle icon. She always gave back to the community and her country. In 2012, she was inducted into the American Chef Corps, part of the U.S. Department of State’s Diplomatic Culinary Program. Although she was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease in 2013, her work continues to influence the culinary world.

Bryant Terry

Bryant (pictured top-left) is a highly proclaimed chef who broke down the “soul food” stereotype with his Afro-vegan cookbooks and web series Urban Organic. Bryant graduated from the Natural Gourmet Institute for Health and Culinary Arts in New York City, but he also has a master’s degree in American History from NYU. He is as much a food activist as he is a chef, both working for and creating programs to share food wisdom with his local community and beyond. Bryant firmly believes that good food should be an everyday right and not a privilege.

Joe Randall

From his early days in U.S. Air Force flight kitchens to apprenticeships under big names at fine-dining restaurants, Joe (pictured bottom-right) has maintained a passion for sharing good food. Although he’s been in the business for a long time (over half a century!), Chef Joe has not slowed down. He continues to teach classes at his cooking school — Chef Joe Randall’s Cooking School — and remains a figure of leadership in culinary education and community service.

More: Celebrating Black History Month