Go to the main content

8 Black Vegan Chefs Who Are Changing the Game

These individuals go above and beyond to provide for their communities!

Food & Drink

Shenarri "Greens" Freeman Courtesy of Ubuntu

These individuals go above and beyond to provide for their communities!

In honor of Black History Month, we’d like to honor these eight Black vegan chefs who are changing the game.

Shenarri “Greens” Freeman

Vegan female powerhouse Shenarri “Greens” Freeman is highly acclaimed in the New York and Los Angeles food scenes. You may have read about her in The New York Times or Esquire or on the James Beard and Michelin Star nominees list. Freeman currently serves as Executive Chef at Cadence in NYC and Ubuntu in LA, where she recreates Southern childhood favorites and West African-inspired dishes, using real fruits and vegetables in tandem with her impeccable culinary skills.

Shenarri “Greens” Freeman

Shenarri “Greens” Freeman Courtesy of Ubuntu

Makini Howell

Makini Howell is a lifelong vegan and chef who’s shaking up the foodie scene. Makini is a cookbook author and the head chef and owner of Plum Bistro, one of Seattle’s most popular upscale vegan eateries. Her Plum Restaurants brand has also grown to include a food truck, dessert shop, cafe, and salad stop.

Makini Howell @ Photo by Plum Bistro

Makini Howell Courtesy of Plum Bistro

Bryant Terry

With multiple vegan cookbooks as well as James Beard and NAACP Image Awards under his belt, Bryant Terry is a force to be reckoned with! Beyond creating amazing recipes, Terry serves as an author, educator, and community leader whose goal is to create a nutritious, fair, and sustainable food system for all.

Bryant Terry @ Photo by Carlos Chavarria

Bryant Terry Photo by Carlos Chavarria

Brenda and Aaron Beener

Brenda Beener founded Seasoned Vegan Real Quick in Harlem, New York with her son Aaron Beener. The duo crafts organic, vegan gourmet Soul Food. Their rendition of Soul Food is not only inspired by the South, but the Beeners draw inspiration from other cuisines across the globe. Popular items include the BBQ Craw Sandwich, Harlem Chopped “Cheese” Burger, and mac & cheese.

Brenda and Aaron Beener

Brenda and Aaron Beener Photo by Kim-Julie Hansen

Angela Means Kaaya

From the big screen to the kitchen, Angela Means Kaaya shines bright! The Black female actress opened Jackfruit Cafe in Los Angeles in 2017 and has since moved the restaurant to Texas. Texans can now order plant-based comfort food meals like cheeseburgers, hot dogs, potato salad, and more.

Angela Means Kaaya @ Photo by Jackfruit Cafe

Angela Means Kaaya Courtesy of Jackfruit Cafe

Babette Davis

Chef Babette Davis is our idol! At age 73, Davis is going strong as co-owner and head chef of Stuff I Eat, health and fitness coach, motivational speaker, and content creator. If you need some serious inspiration and joy in your day, check out her Instagram videos. And if you need some insanely delicious vegan Soul Food in Los Angeles, hit up Stuff I Eat!

Babette Davis @ Photo by Craig Stuart Eisenberg

Babette Davis Photo by Craig Stuart Eisenberg

Lemel Durrah

Lemel Durrah is one of the first vegan chefs to cater plant-based fare to Black communities in food deserts like Compton. Through his business Compton Vegan, Durrah offers comforting vegan meals like Buffalo Chik’n Mac, Jackfruit Ribz, and Chick’n & Waffle Sandwiches.

Lemel Durrah @ Photo by Compton Vegan

Lemel Durrah Courtesy of Compton Vegan

Gregory Brown

After adopting a plant-based diet, Baltimore native Gregory Brown learned the ins and outs of veganizing Soul Food recipes. In 2011, the self-taught chef opened Land of Kush with his wife, Naijha Wright-Brown. Aside from owning and operating the revolutionary vegan restaurant, Brown is a board member of the Black Veg Society and works to educate the community on the benefits of plant-based eating.

Gregory Brown and his wife, Naijha Wright-Brown @ Photo by Scott Suchman

Gregory Brown and Naijha Wright-Brown Photo by Scott Suchman

Allie Mitchell

Allie Mitchell


When Allie responded to an Instagram post on @vegoutlosangeles a few years ago, she had no idea she’d join the coolest vegan team on the planet. An Austin native, actress, yogi, and part-time sword fighter (don’t ask!), Allie is on a mission to live her best life and inspire others to do the same. She graduated from Hussian College In Studio with a B.F.A. in Contemporary Musical Theatre + Film and currently acts, writes, and eats her way through Los Angeles.

More Articles by Allie

More From Vegout