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Eric Medsker
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8 Black Vegan Chefs Who Are Changing the Restaurant Game

These plant-based chefs are bringing culinary creativity to their communities!

With our favorite plant-based chefs running the kitchens, you won’t want to miss out on these delicious vegan restaurants. From food trucks and pop-ups to popular brick-and-mortars, we’re talking bucket-list-worthy establishments! Take a peek into these cruelty-free kitchens as these eight Black vegan chefs are changing the restaurant game with their culinary expertise and delicious plant-based food!

Babette Davis

Head chef and co-owner of Stuff I Eat, Babette Davis is a plant-based culinary genius. After transitioning to a vegan diet to improve her digestive issues, asthma, and skin disorders, Chef B never looked back. Now, at 70 years young, Davis is an inspiration to us all! Her organic, eco-friendly restaurant is located in Inglewood, California and features dishes from loaded burritos and hearty stir-fries to soul food platters and breakfast favorites.

Chef Babette

Photo courtesy of Chef Babette

Angela Means Kaaya

From actress to vegan chef, Angela Means Kaaya is an incredibly talented and driven individual. Means Kaaya added CEO and chef to her impressive resume when she opened Jackfruit Cafe in 2017. The Black-owned, all-vegan eatery is located inside the Grand Food Depot in Los Angeles, California. Patrons can enjoy Soul Bowls, Cauliflower Wings, house-made Vegan Shrimp, and of course, Pulled BBQ Jackfruit Sandwiches.

Angela Means Kaaya

Photo courtesy of Jackfruit Cafe

Brenda Beener

Seasoned Vegan, located in Harlem, New York, is operated by a mother-son duo, Brenda and Aaron Beener. Chef Brenda’s inventive menu features gourmet vegan soul food with twists of Italian, Asian, Middle Eastern, Caribbean, and American fare. Popular items include Baked Mac and Cheese, BBQ “Crawfish,” Sweet Potato Souffle, and a Po’Boy Sandwich.

Brenda Beener

Photo courtesy of Seasoned Vegan

Lemel Durrah

In an effort to bring healthier, affordable, plant-based options to the inner city, Lemel Durrah created Compton Vegan, a vegan restaurant and catering service. Durrah’s dishes closely resemble everyday foods, and menu offerings include Buffalo Chik’n Mac, BBQ Jackfruit Ribz, and Shrimp & Fries. This Black entrepreneur continues to expand with Compton Vegan Express and the Compton Vegan Food Truck, so keep your eyes peeled for this ever-evolving, Black-owned vegan biz.

Lemel Durrah

Photo courtesy of Compton Vegan

Gregory Brown

Gregory Brown is a self-taught vegan chef. He and his wife Naijha Wright-Brown combined forces and opened The Land of Kush in 2011. Located in Baltimore, Maryland, the Black-owned vegan restaurant features soul food dishes like Curry Chickun, Kush BBQ Ribs, and Black-Eyed Pea Fritters. As the head chef, Brown continues to build a following of repeat customers, both vegan and non.

Gregory Brown

Photo courtesy of The Land of Kush

Tamearra Dyson

This Black vegan female chef grew up vegetarian and has been whipping up her signature plant-based dishes since she was a teen! Now, Tamearra Dyson is the chef and owner of Souley Vegan in Oakland, LA, San Francisco, and Las Vegas. The vegan eateries sport an impressive menu featuring Artichoke Dip, Collard Greens, Okra Gumbo, Southern Fried Tofu, and Blueberry Pancakes.

Tamearra Dyson

Photo courtesy of Souley Vegan

Makini Howell

Passionate vegan chef Makini Howell is the owner of Plum Bistro in Seattle. She creates beautifully styled dishes featuring organically grown, seasonal produce from family-owned farms. The bistro menu includes Fresh Lemon Ricotta Ravioli, a Black Pepper Fried Chick’n Burger, Fully Loaded Nachos, and Mac & Yease, a signature dish and veganized favorite from the childhood home Makini shared with her brother, Ayinde Howell. A casual eatery, food truck, and catering service also fall under the restaurateur’s Plumbrella.

Makini Howell

Photo courtesy of Plum Bistro

Shenarri “Greens” Freeman

Originally from Richmond, Virginia, the plant-based chef moved to New York to further her culinary skillset in 2019. Shenarri “Greens” Freeman is currently the executive chef at Cadence, a plant-based soul food restaurant in New York. The Black vegan chef is known for cruelty-free Southern cooking, and her specialties include Maple “Buttermilk” Cornbread and Southern-Fried Lasagna.

Shenarri Greens Freeman

Eric Medsker

Anja Grommons

@vegcentricdietitian

During her studies to become a registered dietitian, Anja—a longtime vegetarian—transitioned to a vegan diet. Living in Kalamazoo, Michigan at the time (Go Broncos!), she met Maggie and Tammie through VegOut Kalamazoo (one of VegOut’s first focus cities) and began collaborating with the duo. When she’s not writing about new vegan eats, practicing as a pediatric clinical dietitian, and virtually coaching fellow plant-based eaters, you can find her creating veg-centric recipes, trying new cruelty-free products, and spending time with her partner Addison and cat Kovu.

Must-have products: Ezekiel Bread, Racconto Giardiniera, Pacifica Vegan Collagen Complex Serum, Elina Organics Botanical Cleanser

Articles by Anja
Anja Grommons

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