long bio

Bryant Terry

credit:    Pablo Serrano

Bryant Terry is a James Beard Award-winning chef, educator, and author renowned for his activism to create a healthy, just, and sustainable food system. He is currently in his fifth year as Chef-in-Residence at the Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD) in San Francisco where he creates public 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.” In December 2017 San Francisco Magazine included Bryant among 11 Smartest People in the Bay Area Food Scene. A year earlier, Fast Company named him one of 9 People Who Are Changing the Future of Food.


Afro-Vegan, Bryant’s fourth book, was published by Ten Speed Press/Penguin Random House April 2014. Two months later Amazon.com named it one of the best cookbooks of the year. Afro-Vegan was also included on several year-end best cookbooks 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 also authored The Inspired Vegan, and he coauthored Grub (with Anna Lappe), which The New York Times called “ingenious.”  Bryant is currently working on his fifth book which will be published in 2020.  


Bryant currently serves on the advisory board for From Mothers to Mothers, an undergraduate student project based at UC Berkeley that initially focused on the postpartum food wisdom of immigrant and refugee Asian American Pacific Islander women. In April 2017 the students successfully published a multicultural and multilingual cookbook that features postpartum recipes written in Korean, H’mong, Cambodian, Chinese, Vietnamese, Tagalog and translated into English. Phase two of the project will collect recipes from Middle Eastern, Latinx, African, European, and Asian cultures to be posted on a website. Bryant also served as the humanities advisor on and wrote the forward for 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 U.S.   


Bryant’s work has been featured in the New York Times, Food and Wine, Gourmet, Sunset, O: The Oprah Magazine, Essence, Yoga Journal, 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 conferences, community events, and colleges including Brown, Columbia, NYU, Smith, Stanford, and Yale. In 2015, Bryant delivered a talk at TED MED, a global community dedicated to unlocking imagination in service of health and medicine. 


Bryant is the host of Urban Organic—a multi-episode web series that he co-created. He was a co-host of the public television series, The Endless Feast, and he served as an expert on the Sundance Channel’s original series Big Ideas for a Small Planet. Bryant is a featured expert in the documentary film Soul Food Junkies directed by Byron Hurt. Bryant served as an advisor and made appearances in the documentary film What’s on Your Plate directed by Catherine Gund and the PBS educational film Nourish: Food + Community.  In 2013 he was the face of a Scion/Toyota ad campaign shot by Doug Prey.  That same year he worked with Barry Jenkins on “The Little Things are Everything” campaign.  Bryant has made hundreds of national television and radio appearances, including being a guest on The Martha Stewart Show, Emeril Green, All Things Considered, Morning Edition, The Splendid Table, and The Tavis Smiley Show.  He is currently developing a web series as well as a scripted television series.


Bryant’s work has earned him numerous accolades: In 2017 San Francisco Magazine included Bryant among 11 Smartest People in the Bay Area Food Scene, and Fast Company named him one of the Most Creative People in Business. That same year he was included on the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts YBCA 100 list, which celebrates innovators, provocateurs, and thought leaders from all over the world who are using their platform to create cultural movement. In 2016 Fast Company included Bryant among 9 People Who Are Changing the Future of Food. That same year, San Francisco Bay Area magazine 7x7 included him on its Hot 20 list of the Bay Area's movers, shakers and game changers. In 2015 Bryant received a Leadership Award from the James Beard Foundation. That same year he was named Chef-in-Residence of San Francisco's Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD), a position which he still holds. In 2014 Bryant was named Artist-in-Residence of San Francisco’s Grace Cathedral. That same year the African American Studies Department at UC Berkeley honored him for his commitment to community development and transformative change. In 2012, Hillary Clinton chose Bryant 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.” In 2008 Bryant was selected as one of the “Hot 20 Under 40” in 7x7. 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 working towards a more sustainable food system. 


Bryant graduated from the Chef’s Training Program at the Natural Gourmet Institute for Health and Culinary Arts in New York City. He holds a 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.