Louisiana Black Culinary Professionals on the Move 2017
It is sad in 2017 that I must use the adjective “Black” to define a group of talented Louisiana Culinarians. Over the past few years, I observed countless black culinarians that I have not been featured on local levels in New Orleans and beyond, all the way up to recognition by the James Beard with youth on their side. I respect the contributions of the Chase's and Seaton’s families but there are much more. There has been a program such as Invisible Chefs talking about the subject but no followup on subsequent programming to move the conversation forward to address the biggest issue equity.
When I look at visuals of simply Louisiana Chefs to Watch or a list of best chefs in the state or country being invited to New Orleans for heralded events, you hardly ever see black chefs, mention or if they do, they are in the single digit percentage point when represented. Despite, all of this, in 2017 many Black Louisiana culinarians have been featured on national TV, even if they have not been recognized a lot in their local media outlets for contributions to the local culinary scene. What is greater, is that their significant work can be seen beyond the back of house historically in which many blacks have held positions as cooks with no promotion to executive chefs because many do not have access to capitol to own or be a partner in the venture. Furthermore, most chefs that I will call out later can execute fine dining, not simply soul food as black chefs are so often pigeon holed. Please look up these chefs to enjoy some amazing food as they may offer private chef services so you can get some of the best food available in the state of Louisiana.
New Orleans, LA
Carla Briggs(http://www.eatyourwordslt.com/) – Chef/ Teacher Eat Your Words , Pitchnola Winner
Kenneth Johnson (https://kennethtemple.com/) – Winner of Chopped
Toya Boudy (http://cheftoyaboudy.com/) – Food Network Appearance
Linda Green (http://neworleanssoulfood.com/)– Winner of Chopped in 2012
Demietriek Scott – Chef Appearance on Andrew Zimmerman
Chris Hayes - Chef Winner of Food Network Chef vs Con – New Orleans/Shreveport, LA
Jeffery Heard (http://www.audreymaes.com/) – Winner of the Capitol One Bank Fried Chicken Contest
Syrena Johnson(http://www.syrenajohnson.com/) – chefs on the move
Serigne Mbaye - chefs on the move
Carolyn Shelton – (http://www.younggiftedclassy.com) – Chef/Etiquette Expert
Howard Conyers(https://www.howardconyers.com) – Pitmaster/Engineer/Speaker Featured on Cooking Channel Man Fire Food
Vance Vaucresson (http://vaucressonsausage.com) – Best Sausage Maker in the south
Hardette Harris(http://www.foodtourslouisiana.com/) – Shreveport, LA
Darryl Johnson – Shreveport, LA
Part of the problem is maybe writers or media don’t look like the people preparing the food. However, New Orleans is bless to have at least 4 great black writers.
Zella Palmer – Dillard University Ray Charles Program in African-American Material Culture
L. Kasimu Harris (http://www.lkasimuharris.com/)
Tunde Wey (http://www.fromlagos.com/)
Megan Braden-Perry – Author Crescent City Snowballs
ln closing, I hope that people support these talented professionals. If I missed you, please feel free to contact me so I can add you to a future posting after as you may not be on my radar.