When it comes to culinary genius, Black chefs abound. From comforting Southern cooking to outstanding modern cuisine, what’s coming out of these chefs’ kitchens is nothing less than delicious.
There’s no shortage of fantastic black chefs around the country, and they’re not only pleasing the most exquisite palates, but they’re also beacons for their communities.
Here are five chefs to follow this year and the next. Find one near you and don’t miss out on this generation of authentic master chefs.
Chef Clark is a James Beard Award winner and has worked with great chefs, including Chef Jean Georges Vongerichten and Charlie Trotter. Still, his most significant influence was his father, a renowned chef who inspired Preston to undertake the pots and pans’ challenging career.
Today, in front of the seafood specialty and high-end restaurant Lure Fishbar, Preston Clark is far from settling in New York. He steadily positions himself as a man to watch in the country’s most competitive city.
Chef Jerome Grant has traveled the country to bring African, Caribbean, and Filipino flavors to the forefront. Having taken the responsibility of running Sweet Home Café at the National Museum of African American History and Culture, before running his own restaurant Jackie in Washington DC, the chef has made a name for himself for his commitment. He has certainly not been a disappointment as an ambassador for traditional, autochthonous food.
Chef Gran has co-authored cookbooks and was nominated for the James Beard Awards last year. The talented chef is tireless, and we’ve got the feeling he’s just started to raise his voice.
Chef Hardy is a larger-than-life personality. Currently running River Bistro and COOP, in Detroit, the chef specializes in American, Asian, Caribbean, French, and Kosher cuisine. From Miami to Los Angeles, and then to New York, Mex Hardy is well known nationwide for his intuitive approach to cooking ingredients to make them shine, and his fun, creative process to put them together in delectable dishes.
Chef Hardy has a catering business, a seasoning brand, and a sheer passion for sharing what he does best, wow his customers.
You’ll have to visit Kith and Kin, in Washington DC, to experience the colorful and layered food rolling out of Chef Kwame Onwuachi’s kitchen. You might know Chef Onwuachi for his role in Top Chef season 13 a few years ago, or at many food magazines that have covered his story across the years.
Straight out from the Bronx, Chef Kwame started his cooking career in Louisiana only to go back to tune his craft in New York City, working at prestigious venues including Per Se and Eleven Madison Park. What moves Chef Onwuachi, though, are Afro-Caribbean flavors, and that passion is what puts the chef on our list.
One of the most acclaimed chefs in Chicago, Chef Erick Williams, owns and runs Virtue in Hyde Park. He serves Southern American classics with a unique flair, tainted with creole spices and fine ingredients, from grits and cheddar to cornbread and honey, and that’s just the beginning.
Chef Erick’s work goes well beyond running his creative kitchen, his hospitality is legendary, and his charm is reason enough to visit. In the words of Chef Williams, “Infinite hope is a virtue.”
Show Some Love!
If our chef recommendations are far from you, we’re sure you’re not far from your own local talent. Black chefs are taking the world of cooking by storm, and the best way of rewarding them is with our favor.
Have a wonderful time and an unforgettable meal in our fantastic chefs’ hands, and don’t forget to follow them closely; their careers are just getting started, and it has been quite a start.