Black Lives Matter. We at Food52 are devastated by the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, Dreasjon Reed, and so many others. We stand in solidarity with the Black community, and we hope that this coverage will serve as a helpful and important resource to further antiracism work in our community.
This line from Wilson’s 2017 piece for VICE called to mind a company value: “We save everyone a seat.” This past winter, we spent some time as a team revisiting and renaming our guiding principles. But perhaps, in the same way that the abbreviation “DEI” can feel wrong, unsuitably small, there’s importance in taking a moment to unpack that promise we made as a company. In other words—once everyone is seated, what happens next?
Here, a list of 10 Black food bloggers to follow. In true modern-day-slasher-fashion, these bloggers do everything, and do it impossibly well. Not only will you find endless databases of trustworthy recipes, but ones that are vegan, not vegan, traditional, innovative, provocative, political, rage-filled, joyful, technical, fun. On top of this, beautifully styled photographs and engaging hosted videos. On top of that, many also produce podcasts and cultural criticism, write cookbooks and food history, cook on the line and for those in need, make art and food-art, and take the time to explain how things could be, should be done better. We’re honored to be sharing a table; we’re here to listen.
This is not at all to be seen as a comprehensive list; we look forward to hearing about your favorite bloggers in the comments section below.
1. Jenné Claiborne of Sweet Potato Soul
Why a sweet potato? Claiborne writes, “As a picky kid, they were one of the few healthy foods I would eat. Candied yams, sweet potato pie, and a good ol' baked sweet potato; when I think of soul food, these come to mind. Now as a vegan chef sweet potatoes are still my favorite food, and one of the most delightful and soulful ingredients.” Worry not—Sweet Potato Soul boasts recipes not only tuber-centric; the blog is full of vibrant dishes (a Nut-Free West African Peanut Stew, Miso and Mango Cabbage Salad, —OK and yes, Sweet Potato Chocolate Muffins). It’s also packed with smart, relevant tips that prove plant-based eating isn’t just inspo, but can be an accessible reality for everyone (think: the best way to store produce for longevity; how to shop vegan with just $35 a week).
2. Michael Twitty of Afroculinaria
Twitty’s blog (and book, The Cooking Gene) pull together his various, seemingly unrelated (but deeply entwined) interests: the study and preservation of African ancestral foodways, its influence on creole cuisines, and Jewish cultural issues. What ties them all together is what Twitty terms “identity cooking”: “Identity cooking isn’t about fusion; rather it’s how we construct complex identities and then express them through how we eat.” Afroculinaria is a wonderful resource for sharp cultural commentary, food history and culture, and interviews with fellow thought leaders.
3. Tunde Wey’s writing on From Lagos
Prolific chef, artist, and writer Wey uses “food to talk about important shit.” Admittedly, From Lagos is not a “blog” in the most traditional sense of the word, but Wey’s website and larger project does demand the same kind of close attention. Under “Writing,” find links to stellar pieces: “I Cook to Talk About Some Things We Don’t Want to Acknowledge”, and “The Power of Those Who Who Get to Tell the Stories”, to name just two. Under the “Food” tab, find documentation of past pop-up experiential dinners Wey has led, like SAARTJ (“a project highlighting racial wealth disparity by offering race-based tiered pricing to customers”), HOT CHICKEN SHIT (“a project to sell hot chicken at extortionist prices to fund a community land trust in black neighborhoods”), and LOVE WILL TRUMP (“a dinner series to spark romantic connections between U.S. citizens and immigrants”).
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I don’t know what you’re going through but we’re all going through it but through it, through it? that’s different we’re all going to die, that’s living but not like this it’s madness and we’re not living either, just waiting for paper and papers in this thoroughly sane world, that’s madness through it through it though? that’s no light, that’s blackness and blackouts floods that fuck storm pipes and blow her back out through it through it? that’s fermented seeds fighting bouillon cubes call it a sequel to the first fuck you through it through it? that’s breakdance born from the breaks but Tik Tok stock is the only thing moving that’s zanku, shaku shaku and legwork feeding the big brands and the networks Through it through it? is mommy sick, sister’s head split, baby bro having to sit down a new born niece born old, rent still due now that’s black folks through and through black folks are ... [sigh] … cus seeing us in a sea from across a sea pause… let me catch my breath before its gone black folks are ... hated by everybody… and even in a sea of us across the sea we’re still going through it through it doesn’t matter i still want to go home before everyone dies abruptly on this pus side of the sea and everyones dies old on that pus side of the sea. i’m scared of water of wounds of pus of seas.
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4. Aaron Hutcherson of The Hungry Hutch
Armed with a bachelors in systems engineering and a masters in finance, Hutcherson found himself well on track to a career on Wall Street. But then he went and started The Hungry Hutch, a blog chronicling his kitchen experiments—and the rest, as they say, is history. Hutcherson soon after enrolled in culinary school, happily trading in his suit for chef whites, devoting himself to the blog full-time. That passion being evident in his impressive diversity of recipes: his Black Pepper Cultured Butter Biscuits and Hazelnut Flour Salted Chocolate Chunk Shortbread recipes are just two of the many we’ve bookmarked.
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Spending the afternoon photographing a new cookie recipe and listening to @osayiendolyn and @isawstephen talk about storytelling on @blackfoodfolks was just what I needed. 🍪 (And before you ask, this recipe will be on the blog in a couple of weeks.) #TheHungry
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5. Jerrelle Guy of Chocolate for Basil
To say recipe developer, food stylist, photographer, and writer Jerrelle Guy does it all is a severe understatement. Her book, Black Girl Baking, was nominated for a James Beard award in 2019; and Jerelle, along with her partner Eric, styled and photographed three other stunning cookbooks, including Toni Tipton-Martin’s Jubilee and Maegan Brown’s guide to aspirational cheese boards, Beautiful Boards. Through all this, she still maintains her beloved blog, delighting readers with unexpected flavor combinations and techniques: Tofu Tiramisu, Seaweed Casserole, Pretzel Shortbread.
6. Vallery Lomas of Foodie in New York
Winner of ABC’s, now-cancelled Great American Baking Show, lawyer-turned-blogger Lomas has hardly missed a beat. As Buzzfeed so aptly put it, Lomas turned “lemons into lemon curd.” Subscribers of Foodie in New York can expect recipes for extravagant tarts, lacy cookies, and towering layer cakes (like this honey-lavender lemon tart, these oat flour cookies, and this one bowl carrot cake), Lomas’s own ebook on summer desserts, along with links to Lomas’s numerous appearances on podcasts (she now co-hosts Heritage Radio Network’s Why Food? with Ethan Frisch), TV cooking shows, and online recipe videos.
7. Alisha Sommer of Sommersalt
Charred green-gold spring onions, a glowing bottle of Pinot Gris, the furled, purple edges of a head of Ruby lettuce: Food-, wine-, and words-enthusiast Alisha Sommer collects images like artifacts on her self-described hunt for beauty. For more of the latter, turn to her poignant, daily log of Ten Things, now in its 1064th installment (!):
1. The heat returns.
2. More and more baby snails, some less than an inch long. Tiny miracles.
3. I listen.
4. I see all the black squares and it doesn’t seem right. This is not right. I am not wrong.
5. Long chains of puzzle pieces, no idea of where they belong. The puzzles help the nerves, give the hands something else to do that’s not scrolling.
6. The feeling of being an outsider never seems to go away.
7. I don’t have the capacity at the moment.
8. To text someone you haven’t talked to in 10 years so that you can unload your guilt. Audacity. But not surprised. I just hope none of the other white people from my past suddenly feel the need to call and text me.
9. We say “no” to the Youtube channel. I suggest making videos and sharing directly with friends through the messenger app. She says there is a 2-minute limit for videos. Then we have a short conversation—well, a lecture—on how working within constraints pushes your creativity.
10. She is preaching a sermon. I hope the ones who needed to listen, were actually listening.
11. How long could this last? For as long as people have time. Right now, they’ve got a lot of it. And, in some way, that is the beauty of cosmic timing.
8. Dr. A. Breeze Harper of Sistah Vegan
With a PhD in Critical Food Geographies, Dr. A. Breeze Harper’s blog, Sistah Vegan, offers not vegan recipes, but critical writings on the interstice of Blackness, veganism, and feminism. Find tools for introspection, for talking to kids about racism and anti-Blackness, and a guide on how to design—not retrofit—diversity, equity, and inclusion into a business, to name just a few posts.
9. Tanorria Askew of Tanorria’s Table
You may recognize Askew as the 2016 MasterChef contestant that cooked up “the best shrimp and grits” chef Ramsey has ever had. What’s happened in the years since? She now co-hosts The Convo Might Get Awkward, a podcast examining white privilege, systemic racism, and the tools needed for an antiracist future. She’s still blending her passions for cooking, diversity, and inclusion by volunteering her time and delicious cooking to those in need. And, of course, she’s still dreaming up wildly impressive recipes (just look at these layers!) on her blog, Tanorria’s Table.
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“I gave up on being a peacemaker quite some time ago. I’m a peacemaker for black justice, black lives, and my very own beautiful blackness. My peace comes in the form of being loud and being proud. I don’t look for peace, I demand it. I don’t cower over injustice, I get louder. I cannot be at peace if I’m not doing what it takes to stand up for black justice and for black lives. I am a peacemaker. For my mind, for my soul, and for my people.” Today on the blog…I’m talking about how I use to be a peacemaker. Give it a read and share it if you feel inclined. Link for the blog is in my bio. #tanorriastable #blacklivesmatter #blackfoodblogger #blackgirlmagic #peacemaker #troublemaker #amplifyblackvoices #blm #racialreconcilitation #blackblogger #newontheblog #todayontheblog #nojusticenopeace #blackgirlsrock
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10. Darius Williams of Darius Cooks
On his blog, Darius offers recipes that span not only cuisines, cultures, and genres (Peach Cobbler Cream Cheese Pound Cake, Creamed Spinach Tortellini, Spinach & Artichoke Mac & Cheese), but writes on everything from restaurant news to TikTok trends, new food products to pandemic safety. This array of content might seem dizzying at first, but is, in fact, just natural for Darius. His passion, insatiable curiosity for all things, everything food is infectious. This video of him debunking a TikTok hack for cleaning strawberries made me smile:
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