Bryant Terry

We need to open a transparent dialogue about food insecurity, structural racism, and poverty.

Author of Grub and Winner of a James Beard Leadership Award

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Bryant Terry | Author of Grub and Winner of a James Beard Leadership Award
Lavin Exclusive Speaker

Chef, food justice activist, and critically-acclaimed author Bryant Terry has spent the past ten years working to build a more just and sustainable food system. Using cooking as a tool to illuminate the intersections between poverty, structural racism, and food insecurity, he imparts the wisdom of a food movement with an inspiring vision of the future. 

Bryant Terry is the author of the critically acclaimed Vegan Soul Kitchen (VSK): 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. He is also the author of The Inspired Vegan and the coauthor of Grub (with Anna Lappe), which The New York Times called “ingenious.” His newest book is Afro-Vegan: Farm-Fresh African, Caribbean and Southern Flavors Remixed, which was named one of the best cookbooks of the year by

This past fall, Terry won the 2015 James Bear Leadership Award for his work in creating a more accessible, equitable, and ethical food system in America. His 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. He presents frequently around the country as a keynote speaker at community events and colleges, including Brown, Columbia, NYU, Smith, Stanford, and Yale.


“Bryant Terry knows that good food should be an everyday right and not a privilege.”

— Alice Waters, renowned chef and food activist

Terry 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 Soul Food Junkies and the PBS educational film Nourish. He has made dozens 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.

In 2012, Terry was chosen by the U.S. State Department as one of 80 American chefs to be a part of its new American Chef Corps. That same year included him on its list of “100 most influential African Americans,” 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 he 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 Terry 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.

Terry is the founder of 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. Currently, he is the Chef in Residence of the Museum of African Diaspora in San Francisco.   

Speech Topics

Food Justice At the Intersection of Food, Politics, Poverty, Public Health and the Environment
How can we provide healthy food choices for all Americans, regardless of income, geography or race? In this interactive talk, Bryant Terry shows us how the food we eat directly affects issues such as poverty, sustainability, and structural racism. How can we get healthier food into low income urban areas? What can each of us—whether urban dweller or suburbanite—do to eat healthier? And how will these choices affect everything from the environment to social justice? Terry doesn't push faddish or prescribed diets. But he will occasionally sing and even cook a meal to demonstrate how simple (and delicious) making better food choices can be. Fusing food justice and personal history, Terry shows us how to improve access to fresh food in our communities: whether that community is your campus, your workplace, your neighbourhood, or just your own set of friends gathered in the kitchen.