I considered ending the year with a “Best of” series of culinary things that took place in 2019. That would’ve been ok. However, we all lived that. Went through it, either collectively or individually. Instead, let’s talk about the future. What we’re going to do as a community to support our best and brightest chefs who continue to make their mark on the food world.
Yup. Our sisters.
Below are eight Black female chefs that are poised to keep wow-ing us into the new year. Get familiar with them now, and support them as much as possible as the new decade begins.
CHEF ANGELA DAVIS (THE KITCHENISTA) | DETROIT, MI
Chef Angela Davis is a self-taught home cook, food blogger/photographer, and recipe developer that now resides in Detroit. Since 2012, she has helmed the Kitchenista Diaries, where she’s shared her journey from accountant to culinary entrepreneur. Her specialty is taking comfort food to the next level, and her recipes have helped many take their cooking skills to the next level. Her three cookbooks, The Kitchenista Diaries, Vol. 1, The Kitchenista’s 2016 Holiday Collection, and The Kitchenista’s Appetizer Handbook, are on sale here.
CHEF TONIA RENAE | PHILADELPHIA, PA
Chef Tonia Renae is a private chef located in Philadelphia, committed to serving the best quality of foods possible for your dollar. Locally grown vegetables and environmentally sustainable products are used to produce the freshest taste possible in each and every dish. Her specialties include Argentinian beef empanadas, smoked mardi gras wings, braised short ribs, and as a brunch special, salmon croquette Benedict. For more mouth-watering dishes, please visit her here.
CHEF KIMBERLY BROCK-BROWN | CHARLESTON, SC
Born in Chicago and now a resident of Charleston, SC, Chef Kimberly Brock-Brown is 1 of only 9 Approved Culinary Examiners in Charleston. As such, Chef is empowered with the ability to educate, train, grade and proctor to students, cooks and chefs as they strive to learn their craft and become proficient chefs through written and practical cooking exams. Gaining world-wide judging experience of culinary students Nassau, Serbia, Johannesburg, and Alayna, Turkey has only reinforced her love of culinary arts. In her off-time from running her own businesses and being a devoted mother, Chef Kimberly has been a Culinary Arts adjunct teacher for Johnson & Wales University and Trident Technical College and became a Certified Competent Communicator in Toastmaster’s International.
CHEF JAMILA CRAWFORD PECOU | ATLANTA, GA
Jamila Crawford Pécou is a celebrated vegan chef with over 15 years of experience. Her list of clients reads like an A-List celebrity roll call, including: Erykah Badu, Dave Chappelle, Alicia Silverstone, Gabrielle Union, and Jermaine Dupri (just to name a few). Vegans and non-vegans alike enjoy her unique and delicious twist on healthy eating.
CHEF KRYSTAL | PHOENIX, AZ
Ever since she can remember, Chef Krystal has had a passion for food. Her home offered multiple styles of cooking with family influences from Thailand to Japan to Alabama. She has cooked for various restaurants but most recently has been working privately for professional athletes and their families while running her own vegan catering company, Chef Krystal Fitness, that provides healthful delicious international fare and a line of protein infused baked goods that are life giving!
CHEF AIRIS JOHNSON | BROOKLYN, NY
Airis “the Chef” Johnson is a professional chef, world traveler and influencer who has worked in many genres of the culinary industry over the past 16 years. Chef has previously worked for industry leaders such as Gordon Ramsay, Danny Meyer and Whole Foods Market. Her journey as a chef has given Airis the opportunity to open restaurants and lead teams at many successful NYC food establishments. Currently, Airis works as a Private Chef for high profile clients, a consultant, and an adjunct Instructor at the Johannesburg Culinary and Pastry School in Johannesburg, South Africa under her company, Airis the Chef, LLC.
CHEF HARDETTE “DETTE” HARRIS | SHREVEPORT, LA
Chef Hardette Harris grew up in a busy home with two working parents who maintained some of the culinary disciplines from their own upbringings. A native of Minden, Louisiana, Hardette recalls fondly sitting on the porch with her grandmother shelling purple hull peas as a part of her obligations. Many years and culinary experiences later, Chef is taking every second of her professional knowledge as a private chef to educate and assist people in making the most of their lives with food. Chef has spent the better part of her career in Texas working with families on any number of projects from improving their nutritional intake to organizing their kitchens to preparing foods used to be better home cooks. Her book, Chef Harris’ Guide to A Stress-Free Holiday Kitchen, is available here. And her restaurant, Us Up North, is currently open for business.