long bio

Bryant Terry

credit: Pablo Serrano

Bryant Terry is a 2015 James Beard Foundation Leadership Award-winning chef, educator, and author renowned for his activism to create a healthy, just, and sustainable food system.  He is currently the inaugural Chef in Residence at the Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD) in San Francisco where he creates programming that celebrates the intersection of food, farming, health, activism, art, culture, and the African Diaspora.  In regard to his work, Bryant’s mentor Alice Waters says, “Bryant Terry knows that good food should be an everyday right and not a privilege.”  Fast Company magazine named Bryant one of "9 People Who Are Changing the Future of Food" in their April 2016 issue.

Bryant’s fourth book, Afro Vegan was published by Ten Speed Press/Random House April 2014. Amazon.com named Afro-Vegan one of the best cookbooks of 2014 just two months after publication.  In December of that year it was nominated for an NAACP Image Award in the Outstanding Literary Work category, and it was included on several year-end lists. 

Bryant is the author of the critically acclaimed Vegan Soul Kitchen: Fresh, Healthy, and Creative African-American Cuisine, which was named one of the best vegetarian/vegan cookbooks of the last 25 years by Cooking Light Magazine.  Bryant authored The Inspired Vegan, and he coauthored Grub (with Anna Lappe), which The New York Times called “ingenious.”  Bryant is also proud to have served as the “humanities advisor” on the Between Meals cookbook project, which shares the recipes and stories of newly-arrived refugee and immigrant women and explores how they have nourished their families in the United States.    

Bryant’s work has been featured in The New York TimesFood and WineGourmetSunsetO: The Oprah Magazine, Essence, Yoga Journal, Colorlines, and Vegetarian Times among many other publications.  As an exclusive speaker signed with the Lavin Agency, Bryant presents frequently around the country as a keynote speaker at community events and colleges, including Brown, Columbia, NYU, Smith, Stanford, and Yale.

Bryant is the host of Urban Organic—a multi-episode web series that he co-created—and he was a co-host of the public television series, The Endless Feast.  He also served as an expert on the Sundance Channel’s original series Big Ideas for a Small Planet.  He is a featured expert in the documentary film Soul Food Junkies, and he served as an advisor and made an appearance in the documentary film What’s on Your Plate and the PBS educational film Nourish: Food + Community.  Bryant has made dozens of national television and radio appearances, including being a guest on The Martha Stewart ShowEmeril GreenAll Things ConsideredMorning EditionThe Splendid Table, and The Tavis Smiley Show.  

Bryant’s education efforts and activism have earned him numerous accolades.  In 2015 he was named Chef-in-Residence of San Francisco's Museum of the African Diaspora. In 2014 he was named Artist-in-Residence of San Francisco’s Grace Cathedral.  That same year, the African American Studies Department at UC Berkeley honored Bryant (along with Tavis Smiley and Belva Davis) for his commitment to community development and transformative change.  In 2012, Hillary Clinton chose him as one of 80 American chefs to be a part of the American Chef Corps.  That same year TheRoot.com included him on its list of “100 most influential African Americans,” TheGrio.com included him on its list of “100 African Americans Making History Today,” and the San Francisco Bay Guardian named him “Best Cookbook Cheftivist” in the Bay Area.  In 2011 Bryant was included in Ebony Magazine’s “Power 100 list,” and in 2009, The New York Times magazine featured him among a handful of “food fighters.”  He was selected as one of the “Hot 20 Under 40” in the San Francisco Bay Area magazine 7x7 in 2008.  From 2008-2010 Bryant was a fellow of the Food and Society Fellows Program, a national Program of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, and in 2007 he received the inaugural Natural Gourmet Institute Award for Excellence in Health-Supportive Education along with author and Educator Marion Nestle.  From 2002-2003 Bryant was an Open Society Community Fellow (Soros Foundation).

In 2002 Bryant founded b-healthy (Build Healthy Eating and Lifestyles to Help Youth), a multi-year initiative in New York City designed to empower youth to be more active in fighting for a more sustainable food system.  The organization received Glynwood Harvest's "Wave of the Future Award" in 2004.  Bryant continues to collaborate with schools and community organizations around the country to inspire, educate, and empower young people to be active in the food justice movement.  

Bryant graduated from the Chef’s Training Program at the Natural Gourmet Institute for Health and Culinary Arts in New York City. He holds an M.A. in History from NYU and a B.A. with honors in English from Xavier University of Louisiana.  He lives in Oakland, California with his wife and their two daughters.