Bryant Terry
Bryant Terry in 2016
Born (1974-01-24) January 24, 1974 (age 50)[1]
EducationXavier University of Louisiana
New York University (MA)
Occupation(s)Chef, author
SpouseJidan Terry-Koon[2]

Bryant Terry (born January 24, 1974) is an African-American vegan chef, food justice activist, and author. He has written four vegan cookbooks and cowrote a book about organic eating. He won a 2015 James Beard Foundation Leadership Award for his food justice work. In 2021 he was awarded a NAACP Image Award for his book Vegetable Kingdom, which received a starred review from Publishers Weekly.

Early life and education

Terry's parents are Beatrice Terry, a neonatal nurse, and Booker Terry, an environmental protection specialist.[3]

Terry grew up in Memphis, Tennessee.[4] He attended Xavier University of Louisiana, graduating with a degree in English. He then moved to New York City to attend graduate school at New York University, where he earned an M.A. in history.[3] While at NYU, after hearing a hip-hop song about factory farming, he switched to a plant-based diet and started reading about early efforts to address food injustice.[5] He then enrolled in the chef's training program at the Natural Gourmet Institute for Health and Culinary Arts in New York City.[3]


In 2001, Terry founded b-healthy! (Build Healthy Eating And Lifestyles To Help Youth), a five-year initiative created to raise awareness about food justice issues and empower youth to be active in creating a more just and sustainable food system.[6][7] The program taught children in underserved neighborhoods how to cook in an afterschool program, sending the kids back home with their prepared foods to provide their family a meal.[8] In 2002 he received a Community Fellowship from the Open Society Institute (Soros Foundation) to support b-healthy's work, in which he led chef-educators Ludie Minaya, Elizabeth Johnson, and Latham Thomas in reaching out to thousands of youth in the United States.[9][10]

In the spring of 2003, Terry met author Anna Lappé. That fall they began writing a Grub: Ideas for an Urban Organic Kitchen (ISBN 1585424595), which was soon bought by Tarcher/Penguin and published in 2006.[11] Grub received a 2007 Nautilus Book Award for Social Change.[12]

Among his national radio and television appearances, Terry has offered his commentary on the Sundance Channel's original series Big Ideas for a Small Planet. He has been a guest chef on three episodes of the BET series My Two Cents. Terry was also a host on the PBS series The Endless Feast.[4]

Terry is a consultant for the Bioneers Conference. He has helped raise funds for the People's Grocery in West Oakland,[13] and he consults for other not-for-profit organizations as well as corporations. He appeared on the "Nourish: Food + Community" PBS special that aired in 2008, and he has also served on the advisory board for the project's educational component.

From 2008 to 2010, Terry was a Food and Society Policy Fellow, a national program of the W. K. Kellogg Foundation.[14][15]

In 2015, Terry was named the inaugural Chef-in-Residence for the Museum of the African Diaspora in San Francisco.[16][17]

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution in 2020 said of Terry that he had "dedicated much of his life to educating others about sustainable agriculture and healthy eating through the lens of the African Diaspora."[18] Ten Speed Press announced in 2021 that Terry would start an imprint called 4 Color Books focused on writers of color.[19]

Writing and speaking engagements

Terry's writing and recipes have been featured in Gourmet, Food and Wine, The New York Times Magazine, the San Francisco Chronicle, Vibe, Domino, Mothering, Food and Wine, Plenty, Delicious Living, and other print magazines. He has contributed to and among others. His column on The Root, "Eco-Soul Kitchen", offers thoughts, recipes, tools, and tips for sustainable eating and living. His essay, "Reclaiming True Grits", was widely circulated on the web and sparked heated debate about "soul food".[20] Distinguishing traditional soul food the "instant soul food" that began emerging in the late 1960s, Terry wrote: "Sadly, over the past four decades most of us have forgotten that what many African Americans in the South ate for dinner just two generations ago was diverse, creative, and comprised of a lot of fresh, local, and homegrown nutrient-dense food."[20]

In 2015, Terry gave a talk at the annual TEDMED conference on "Stirring up political change from the kitchen".[21]


In 2012 Terry was named to TheGrio's 100 list.[22] In 2014 Afro-Vegan was listed as one of the best cookbooks of 2014 by Mother Jones[23] (honorable mention) and Serious Eats.[24]

In 2015 Terry won a James Beard Foundation Leadership Award[5] for his food justice work.[25] He also received two additional nominations from the James Beard Foundation.[26]

Terry's 2020 book Vegetable Kingdom: The Abundant World of Vegan Recipes received a starred review from Publishers Weekly[27] and won an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work – Instructional.[28]

In 2023, Tasting Table named Terry as one of the “21 Plant-Based Chefs You Need To Know.”[29] and VegNews listed him as one of the "37 Creative Chefs Crafting the Future of Vegan Food."[30]

VegNews listed Afro-Vegan as one of the "Top 100 Vegan Cookbooks of All Time" in 2024.[31]

Personal life

Terry married Jidan Koon, an organizational development consultant, in September 2010.[3] They reside in Oakland, California, with their children.[2]



  1. ^ "Terry, Bryant, 1974-". Library of Congress. Retrieved April 5, 2017.
  2. ^ a b May, Meredith (June 3, 2014). "Bryant Terry cultivates new turf with front-yard edible lawn". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved April 5, 2017.
  3. ^ a b c d "Jidan Koon, Bryant Terry". The New York Times. September 3, 2010. Retrieved April 3, 2010.
  4. ^ a b Bader, Beth (April 9, 2008). "An Interview with Bryant Terry, Eco-Chef, Author and Food Justice Activist". Eat Drink Better. Retrieved April 5, 2017.
  5. ^ a b "2015 Leadership Award Honoree Bryant Terry". James Beard Foundation. Retrieved April 5, 2017.
  6. ^ "Bryant Terry, food-justice activist, answers questions". Grist. June 20, 2006. Retrieved April 5, 2017.
  7. ^ Moss, Laura (February 2, 2011). "12 African Americans who are greening the nation". Mother Nature Network. Retrieved April 5, 2017.
  8. ^ "The basic pleasures of eating inside Bryant Terry's Vegetable Kingdom". Retrieved 2022-01-23.
  9. ^ "The 2012 Black Male Achievement Fellows". Soros Foundation.
  10. ^ Vegan Soul Kitchen: Fresh, Healthy, and Creative African American Cuisine. Da Capo Press. 2009. p. 217. ISBN 978-0738216324.
  11. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on January 22, 2013. Retrieved January 22, 2013.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  12. ^ "Nautilus Book Awards". Archived from the original on May 1, 2008.
  13. ^ Guggiana, Marissa (December 18, 2012). "For Oakland food desert: A people's grocery store". Berkeleyside. Retrieved April 5, 2017.
  14. ^ "Food Community Fellows". Archived from the original on February 3, 2012. Retrieved January 31, 2012.
  15. ^ Collier, Andrea King (December 15, 2010). "Expanding Food Advocacy with the Food and Society Fellows Program". Civil Eats. Retrieved April 5, 2017.
  16. ^ Kane, Peter Lawrence (November 9, 2015). "Chatting With MoAD's Chef-in-Residence Bryant Terry About Food Justice". SF Weekly. Retrieved April 5, 2017.
  17. ^ "Chef-in-Residence: Bryant Terry". Museum of the African Diaspora. Retrieved April 5, 2017.
  18. ^ Puckett, Susan. "Plants reign supreme in 'Vegetable Kingdom'". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. ISSN 1539-7459. Retrieved 2022-01-23.
  19. ^ Wilson, Korsha (October 4, 2021). "With 4 Color Books, Bryant Terry Looks to Color Outside the Lines". The New York Times. Retrieved June 20, 2022.
  20. ^ a b Terry, Bryant (February 29, 2008). "Reclaiming True Grits". The Root. Archived from the original on 2019-12-11. Retrieved May 19, 2020.
  21. ^ "Stirring up political change from the kitchen". TEDMED. Retrieved April 5, 2017.
  22. ^ Johnson, Keosha (January 31, 2012). "TheGrio's 100: Bryant Terry, Chef fighting for healthy food distribution". The Grio. Retrieved April 5, 2017.
  23. ^ a b Philpott, Tom (December 20, 2014). "The 9 Best Cookbooks of 2014". Mother Jones. Retrieved April 5, 2017.
  24. ^ a b Williams, Kate (December 2014). "The Year in Cookbooks: Our Favorite Reads of 2014". Serious Eats. Retrieved April 5, 2017.
  25. ^ "Past JBF Leadership Award Recipients | James Beard Foundation". Retrieved 2022-01-23.
  26. ^ James Beard Foundation Awards and Nominations
  27. ^ "Lifestyle Book Review: Vegetable Kingdom: The Abundant World of Vegan Recipes by Bryant Terry. Ten Speed, $30 (256p) ISBN 978-0-399-58104-5". 11 February 2020. Retrieved 2022-01-23.
  28. ^ a b Bosselman, Haley (March 28, 2021). "NAACP Image Awards 2021: The Complete Televised Winners List". Variety.
  29. ^ Kot, Anna (2023-06-02). "21 Plant-Based Chefs You Need To Know". Tasting Table. Retrieved 2023-12-28.
  30. ^ Pointing, Charlotte (July 27, 2023). "37 Creative Chefs Crafting the Future of Vegan Food". VegNews. Retrieved January 16, 2024.
  31. ^ Pointing, Charlotte (January 10, 2024). "The Top 100 Vegan Cookbooks of All Time". VegNews. Retrieved January 16, 2024.
  32. ^ Bryant Terry, ed. (2021). Black food: stories, art & recipes from across the African diaspora. Clarkson Potter/Ten Speed. ISBN 978-1-9848-5972-3. OCLC 1235904680.