Go to the main content Menu
Back
Food & Drink New York
Kayla Pasko Kayla Pasko

7 Black Vegan Chefs Changing the Food Scene in NYC

Wondering who’s behind the magic at some of your favorite Black-owned restaurants and dessert shops in NYC? While we normally spotlight the restaurants, we think the chefs who create our favorite plant-based dishes should also be celebrated, which is why we’ve highlighted seven Black vegan chefs whose food we love. And after reading their stories, you’ll want to try their tasty creations, too!

 

RELATED: 9 Spots for Vegan Mac and Cheese in NYC


Want even more NYC vegan food, news, and lifestyle content? Subscribe to VegOut NYC Magazine!

 

Chef Brenda Beener

Founder and head chef of Harlem’s iconic Seasoned Vegan, Chef Brenda Beener has been in the food industry for the past 30 years. Talent for the culinary arts runs in the family, as her father was a professional cook, and her mother a wonderful home chef. When Chef Brenda and her husband went vegan in the 1990s, she began veganizing Southern and Creole recipes passed down from her mom, and in 2014, Seasoned Vegan was born. One bite of her BBQ crawfish and mac ‘n’ cheese, and you’ll taste the love and passion that Chef Brenda puts into every dish she cooks.

Chef Brenda Beener

Photo credit: KB Media

Francesca Chaney

Francesca Chaney may be young, but this girl boss is a force to be reckoned with. While studying as a full-time student and working three jobs, she began selling her nutrient-rich beverages at festivals and her cousin’s apothecary. At the age of 22, she decided to open Sol Sips in the Bushwick neighborhood of Brooklyn as a way to provide affordable, healthy food options in the community. Chaney was also named in the Grist 50 list of top innovators in sustainability and made Eater’s 2019 Young Guns list as well.

Chef Michael Gordon

Chef Michael Gordon, owner of Ital Kitchen in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, adopted a plant-based diet after joining the Rastafari religion and movement in his native Jamaica. He also incorporates French cooking techniques into his cuisine, which he learned from his culinary training at Le Cordon Bleu. Visit his restaurant, and he’ll cook you dishes like Kale the Queen (kale, raw pear, and walnuts w/ zesty shallot vinaigrette) and the Red Stepper (veggie steak chopped with peppers and onions in a mushroom sauce).

Chef Michael Gordon Ital Kitchen

Pamela Elizabeth

Vegan for over 20 years, Pamela Elizabeth opened her first vegan restaurant—Blossom—in Manhattan in 2005. Since that first restaurant venture, she’s opened the vegan quick service chain Blossom Du Jour (which now has four locations!) as well as Urban Vegan Kitchen in 2016. The vegan chef and restaurateur learned to cook vegan by omitting animal products from recipes, finding creative ways to prepare foods to share with everyone.

Milka & Romeo Regalli

This husband-wife duo are the talented chefs behind Ras Plant Based, an Ethiopian eatery in the Crown Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn. The couple met when Romeo began working at Awash, an Ethiopian restaurant that happened to be owned by Milka’s mother. After seven months of dating, they were married, and the rest is history! When the two opened their own restaurant, they wanted to keep their family traditions alive, which is why you’ll find classic dishes like Missir, a slow simmered red lentil stew. Milka and Romeo also incorporate recipes with a modern twist into the menu, such as the Awaze Chicken & Waffles (cauliflower wings and a Beligian waffle).

Milka and Romeo Regalli

Laiquan Harvey-Davis

After ditching dairy and noticing the lack of dairy-free sweets, founder and chef Laiquan Harvey-Davis opened How Delish as a way to provide a delicious alternative to dairy-packed treats. Laiquan whips up Gluten-free PBJ Cheesecakes, Chocolate Brownie Cheesecakes, and Banana Pudding Cheesecakes to name a few. Whether you need a birthday cake or a cobbler to bring to a cookout, she has all of your vegan dessert needs covered!

Laiquan Harvey-Davis How Delish

Drea Smith

Drea Smith has always found joy and excitement from baking for friends and family, which is what inspired her to open The Uptown Vegan. She specializes in creating all kinds of delectable cakes and pastries, such as Drea’s Famous Sweet Potato (spice cake made with sweet potato puree and vegan cinnamon-sugar cream cheese frosting), and Salted Caramel Pretzel (chocolate cake topped with caramel-infused frosting, pretzels, and a drizzle of salted caramel sauce). Those in the Brooklyn area can also find her Uptown Vegan treats at Brooklyn Tea and Greedi Vegan.

The Uptown Vegan

Kayla Pasko

@kaylapasko

Kayla, a Midwest girl living in NYC, is a writer with a background in media sales. When she’s not scoping out trendy vegan spots, she’s usually taking a yoga class, shopping at Trader Joe’s, or catching a Packers game.

Articles by Kayla

More from VegOut

See the article watch brand skagen just launched a sustainable vegan leather collection

Watch Brand Skagen Just Launched a Sustainable Vegan Leather Collection

What time is it? Time for you to get a new vegan leather watch from Skagen! That’s right, the Danish-inspired accessories brand just launched Aaren Naturals, an eco-friendly watch line featuring leather alternatives made with bio-based materials like apples.

Allie Mitchell
Skagen
News
See the article taco bell is officially testing vegan meat in southern california

Taco Bell Is Officially Testing Vegan Meat in Southern California

After an unpopular decision to skim its menu back in the summer of 2020—which included a seven-month potato hiatus—Taco Bell is working on a transformational, vegan-friendly addition. The chain announced this week that it is actively testing a vegan meat alternative made from a proprietary blend of peas and garbanzo beans.

Tanya Flink
Taco Bell
News
See the article silk is offering free climate counseling for earth day

Silk Is Offering Free Climate Counseling for Earth Day

This Earth Day, Silk, leading plant-based beverage brand, is offering free eco-counseling for those struggling with climate anxiety.

Tammie Ortlieb
Silk
News
See the article 10 zero waste bath and beauty brands to shop for earth day

10 Zero Waste Bath and Beauty Brands to Shop for Earth Day

Every day is Earth Day when you’re eating plants, but how do you take that eco-commitment one step further and incorporate more reusable and earth-friendly products into your home? With this handy list, that’s how! Whether it’s haircare, body or bum care, period protection, or more, these brands have what you need to reduce your impact on the environment. Here’s our list of 10 brands where you can find zero waste items for your bath and beauty needs.

Tammie Ortlieb
Fat and the Moon
Shopping
See the article 10 eco-friendly restaurants in america

10 Eco-Friendly Restaurants in America

You know we love any restaurant that provides stellar vegan options. This Earth Day, though, we want to focus on restaurants around the country that go above and beyond when it comes to doing good for the environment. From sourcing local, regeneratively farmed ingredients, to powering the restaurant with renewable energy, here are some eco-conscious spots we think you should have on your radar.

Chelsea Wilkins
The Root Cafe
Food & Drink
See the article 10 spots for vegan pizza in metro detroit

10 Spots for Vegan Pizza in Metro Detroit

A slice of cheesy pizza goodness always hits the spot! Metro Detroit is known for its wide variety of pies, including Detroit-style, thin-crust, and Napoletana. There are so many options to delight your taste buds! Whether you’re planning a night in or going out, check out these 10 spots for vegan-friendly pizza in Metro Detroit.

Rebecca Gade Sawicki Rebecca Gade Sawicki
Vegan Pizza Detroit
Food & Drink
See the article 13 sustainable activewear brands we love

13 Sustainable Activewear Brands We Love

Whether you’re an avid runner or yoga enthusiast, having comfy and eco-friendly athletic wear at your disposal is always a plus. From flexible leggings to colorful crop tops, you’ll be sure to find pieces to fit your active lifestyle. Here are 13 sustainable activewear brands to add to your wardrobe today!

Kayla Pasko
Purusha People
Fashion & Beauty
See the article beyond meat and tinder to send 500 singles on plant-based dates this earth day

Beyond Meat and Tinder to Send 500 Singles on Plant-Based Dates This Earth Day

Dating for vegan singles just got a whole lot easier thanks to the team at Beyond Meat and Tinder!

Kayla Pasko
Beyond Burger
News
See the article 10 essential spots for vegan burgers in chicago

10 Essential Spots for Vegan Burgers in Chicago

Are you a fan of housemade or Impossible burgers? These Windy City restaurants have got you covered! Here are 10 spots to find vegan burgers in Chicago. (Don’t forget to wear your stretchy pants!)

Mohini Patel Mohini Patel
Chicago Vegan Burgers
Food & Drink Chicago
See the article 10 vegan and vegan-friendly restaurants in tampa, fl

10 Vegan and Vegan-Friendly Restaurants in Tampa, FL

Whether you’re taking a trip to Busch Gardens or exploring the historic Ybor neighborhood, Tampa has no shortage of plant-based options when hunger strikes. From burgers with cheese whiz to beautifully plated Mediterranean dishes, Tampa has become a destination for both vegans and foodies alike. Here are 10 vegan and vegan-friendly restaurants to check out in Tampa, FL!

Kayla Pasko
Farmacy
Food & Drink

Newsletter

We’ll keep you updated on new information,
upcoming events, and the best deals in your area.

By signing up you agree to receive emails from VegOut Magazine
and accept our terms of use, privacy policy, and cookie policy.

Subscribe Now

Get the premier vegan food and lifestyle magazine delivered to your door (or inbox!)
Order the magazine!
The Wellness Issue
The Holiday Issue 2020

Navigation

The Wellness Issue

Subscribe Now

Order the magazine!
Close

Filters

Cities

The Most

Writer

Please be aware that we use cookies on our website.

Learn more › ok