5 Black Vegan Cooks You Should Be Following, Because There's So Much Inspiration Out There
Veganism and plant-based diets are on the rise. According to the Vegan Society, there are "three and a half times as many vegans as there were in 2006," and sign-ups for the Veganuary campaign grew by 183% this year. For black people who are considering veganism, there’s a whole host of other motives and setbacks when it comes to choosing a plant-based diet. For me, I wanted to change my diet as a way of helping other black and brown people by not contributing towards environmental racism, but also for the health benefits. As a black woman, I’m more likely to get type 2 diabetes and this is often due to diet.
Although veganism is on the rise, there’s still a misconception that plant-based food can be bit bland and expensive. Plus, for beginners, it can be difficult to know where to start. The first time I attempted it, I ended up eating a variety of beige potato products and veggie sausages all because I had no idea how to cook something I’d actually enjoy. For myself and many other black people who are considering veganism, the fear of being unable to eat our favourite dishes from our own cultures can make things even more complicated. Food is packed full of history and is such a huge aspect of who we are and where we come from. But these cooks not only make delicious vegan dishes but they prove that we don’t have to compromise and we can still eat our favourite meals from our cultures while also being plant-based.
1. Dee’s Table
Following in the footsteps of Kelis and Action Bronson, Denai Moore is not only an incredibly talented singer-songwriter but she’s a part-time chef and the woman behind the Jamaican vegan catering company, Dee’s Table. She effortlessly recreates some of the most beloved Jamaican classics but with plant-based ingredients. Luckily, a lot of Jamaican food is already vegan like ackee, callaloo, rice and peas, and stew peas. Denai works with these ingredients and puts a twist on them creating Jamaican fusion food like callaloo, scotch bonnet caramelised onion parcels and rice and peas arancini balls. Find out more about upcoming supper clubs and residencies here.
2. Rachel Ama
Rachel Ama is a fun and bubbly cook creating vibrant and filling plant-based meals. Her Youtube channel is full of laughs and recreations of some classic dishes like ragu, pizza, and Nutella french toast. She has a recipe for every occasion — like dishes for when you’re feeling under the weather, high-protein dishes to go alongside her Muay Thai training, and meals for as cheap as £1 which show that veganism can be affordable. Rachel also tries out new vegan products from supermarkets and restaurants so you can get a quick review before buying! Check out her website here.
3. Tish Wonders
If you’re looking for easy to follow plant-based recipes, then Tish Wonders is for you. The London based self-taught cook, author and YouTuber makes plant-based cooking so damn simple with her whole food and seasonal recipes. She proves it’s possible to cook delicious wholesome dishes with minimal ingredients all without breaking the bank. Wonders is all about creating colour and vibrant meals like cauliflower wings with ingredients that are easily available and affordable. On top of that, she pairs her recipes with relaxing travel vlogs. You can find her mouth-watering recipes here.
4. Sweet Potato Soul
Sweet Potato Soul is undoubtedly one of the queens of vegan lifestyle blogging on Youtube. Born and raised in Atlanta, Jenné Claiborne is not only a chef but a health coach and cooking instructor who thanks her nana for her love of food. Her videos are full of joy, easy to follow, and go far beyond cooking. Jenné shares content on how to sleep better, veganism during pregnancy, managing expectations of a plant-based lifestyle, and veganism for beginners. Check out her scrumptious recipes here.
5. sisterwoman vegan
Founded by Safiya Robinson, sisterwoman vegan is a plant-based kitchen serving up delicious soul food. But it's much more than a kitchen, sisterwoman vegan also acts a political project described as an "anti-racist, decolonial, anti-capitalist, trans-inclusive, queer-friendly and a fat positive space." Inspired by black women, sisterwoman vegan aims to encourage healing through food and change how we engage with food in relation to the patriarchy, capitalism, and white supremacy. On top of an awesome political message, the dishes are creative and have all the trimmings you’d expect from good soul food. Need catering? Find out more here.