Celebrate Black History Month with Green Eco Chef Bryant Terry

Oakland-based eco chef Bryant Terry creates tasty vegan recipes
Feb 13, 2010 12:42 AM ET

Celebrate Black History Month with Green Eco Chef Bryant Terry

Bryant Terry is not your average vegan chef. Not only does he cook tasty meat-free meals, but he also juggles the role of award-winning author and food justice activist. So yes, one could say that he has all the right ingredients to be the Top Green Chef of all time. I’d also like to say that he’s an amazing inspiration for black Americans, and for all of us who love good food.

Bryant grew up in Memphis, Tennessee, where he helped his grandparents grow and harvest an entire farm that was full of good food. Because of this experience, he gained a lifelong appreciation for food, and that prompted him to become a passionate advocate for sustainable and social change. As a social activist in New York, he created the b-healthy! (Build Healthy Eating and Lifestyles to Help Youth) initiative, an initiative whose goal is to get urban youth directly involved in creating sustainable food systems. He wanted to teach kids how to combat urban “food desserts” and to eat healthier meals.

Now this sounds great in theory, but Bryant didn’t actually know how to expertly prepare good meals by himself. So he enrolled in cooking school at the Natural Gourmet Institute for Health and Culinary Arts in New York City. While there he learned how to combine what his grandparents taught him with new and exciting recipes, and now he travels across America to promote what he’s learned!

His first book, Grub: Ideas for An Urban Organic Kitchen, won the 2007 Nautilus Award for Social Change. It’s co-authored with Anna Lappé and offers great tips on how to set up your organic kitchen.

Here’s Bryant talking about the book during the Healthy Lifestyle Expo 2007:

Here’s what his website has to say about Vegan Soul Kitchen, Bryant’s second successful cookbook:

“VSK recipes use fresh, whole, best-quality, healthy ingredients and cooking techniques with an eye on local, seasonal, sustainably grown food. Reinterpreting popular dishes from African and Caribbean countries as well as his favorite childhood dishes, Terry reinvents African American and Southern cuisine - capitalizing on the complex flavors of the tradition, without the animal products.”

Sounds tasty to me! I guess it’s pretty obvious that Bryant is an awesome eco chef. Oh, and did I mention that he’s appeared on everything from NPR (In Your Ear: Vegan Chef Bryant Terry) to the The Boston Globe, and that he hosts a PBS series called The Endless Feast?

Need more proof? Here’s Bryant showing you how to make healthy and delicious citrus collards with raisins:

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