10 Cookbooks Written By African American Chefs You Need in Your Kitchen

The featured image is from The Kitchn.

We are committed to using our voice and resources to bring diverse communities together through the act of growing food. In this week’s blog post, though, we want to bring these communities together through the act of making food.

As communities continue to push for equality and an end to systemic racism and injustice in our nation, many people are asking, “What can I do to help?” Activism takes many forms, including protesting, contacting your representatives, and donating. 

Another important way to support Black communities, however, is by supporting Black creators, entrepreneurs, and businesses. That’s why we’re highlighting these 10 incredible cookbooks written by Black authors. We encourage you to take a look at this list and consider supporting them. 

  1. Vegan Soul Kitchen: Fresh, Healthy, and Creative African-American Cuisine By Bryant Terry

Bryant Terry brings soul food back to its roots with plant-based, farm-to-table, real food recipes that leave out heavy salt and refined sugar, “bad” fats, and unhealthy cooking techniques, and leave in the down-home flavor. Vegan Soul Kitchen recipes use fresh, whole, healthy ingredients and cooking methods with a focus on local, seasonal, sustainably raised food.

  1. Jubilee: Recipes from Two Centuries of African American Cooking By Toni Tipton-Martin

Jubilee features more than 100 recipes, from classics such as Sweet Potato Biscuits, Seafood Gumbo, Buttermilk Fried Chicken, to more decadent dishes like Bourbon & Apple Hot Toddies, Spoon Bread, and Baked Ham Glazed with Champagne. Jubilee presents techniques, ingredients, and recipes that show the roots of African American cooking—deeply beautiful, culturally diverse, and fit for any celebration.

  1. Carla Hall’s Soul Food: Everyday and Celebration By Carla Hall

In Carla Hall’s Soul Food, the beloved chef and television celebrity takes us back to her own Nashville roots to offer a fresh, lip-smackin’ look at America’s favorite comfort cuisine. It traces soul food’s history from Africa and the Caribbean to the American South. Carla shows us that soul food is more than barbecue and mac and cheese. Traditionally a plant-based cuisine, everyday soul food is full of veggie goodness that’s just as delicious as cornbread and fried chicken.

  1. SOUL: A Chef’s Culinary Evolution in 150 Recipes by Todd Richards

The message of Soul is that cooks can honor tradition yet be liberated to explore. Author Todd Richards celebrates the restorative wonders of a classic pot of Collard Greens with Ham Hocks, yet doesn’t shy away from building upon that foundational recipe with his Collard Green Ramen. This reinterpretation incorporates far-flung flavors of cultural influences and exemplifies culinary evolution. In more than 150 recipes and stunning photos, Todd shares his creativity and passion for highlighting what soul food can be for a new generation of cooks. 

  1. The Taste of Country Cooking By Edna Lewis 

In her cookbook The Taste of Country Cooking, Edna Lewis celebrates the uniquely American country cooking she grew up with some fifty years ago in a small farming community that had been settled by freed slaves. With menus for the four seasons, she shares the ways her family prepared and enjoyed food, savoring the delights of each special time of year.

  1. Son of a Southern Chef: Cook with Soul by Lazarus Lynch 

Lazarus Lynch is the author of Son of a Southern Chef, which includes 100 recipes that highlight a hybrid of Southern and Caribbean-inspired dishes, including Brown Butter Candy Yam Mash with Goat Cheese Brülée and Dulce de Leche Banana Pudding. Lynch grew up with a Guyanese mother and a father from Alabama, so his cookbook features dishes that are inspired by his parents’ roots.

  1. My Life on a Plate: Recipes from Around the World by Kelis 

My Life on a Plate tells Kelis’ personal story through the food she creates. This book is a collection of her favorite recipes. It features a mix of foods from her Puerto Rican heritage, such as Pernil (Puerto Rican Pork Shoulder), Arroz con Gandules, and Shrimp Alcapurias, along with dishes she created after discovering them on her travels around the world such as Malay Curry Chicken and Swedish Meatballs.

  1. Taste!: Our Family Recipes by Shari W. Quinn

Shari W. Quinn and Ann Johnson, first cousins, both have a passion for cooking and are collectors of recipes – specifically family recipes. Both have watched their mothers in the kitchen for many years and wanted to preserve the cherished recipes of their family. Shari and Ann created this cookbook to share with the generations to come.

  1. Fit Men Cook: 100+ Meal Prep Recipes for Men and Women by Kevin Curry

In Fit Men Cook, Kevin Curry shares everything you need to live a healthy life each day, as well as his personal story of overcoming depression and weight gain to start a successful business and fitness movement. This guide also includes 100+ easy and flavorful recipes like Southern-Inspired Banana Corn Waffles, Sweet Potato Whip, Juicy AF Moroccan Chicken, and many more to help you plan your week and eat something new and nutritious each day.

  1. Sweetie Pie’s Cookbook: Soulful Southern Recipes, from My Family to Yours by Robbie Montgomery

Robbie Montgomery passes down those traditions for generations of fans to enjoy in Sweetie Pie’s Cookbook. Robbie takes you into the kitchen to prepare her most favored meals—smothered pork chops, salmon croquettes, baked chicken—and tells you heartfelt and humorous stories, including amazing tales from her life at the restaurant and on the road as a back-up singer.


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