Top Black Chefs Around the World


The star of 2010’s Top Chef Masters competition on Bravo, the Ethiopian-born Swedish celebrity chef has garnered attention because of his young age and impressive position at the renowned fine dining restaurant Aquavit in New York City. Since winning the cooking competition, Marcus Samuelsson has gone on to open Red Rooster in Harlem, New York. In March, the restaurant hosted a fundraising dinner for the Democratic National Committee and served President Barack Obama.

Gerry Garvin

 His cooking show, “Turn Up the Heat With Chef G. Garvin”, has made Gerry Garvin a household name. The chef and TV host has parlayed his fame into two books, “Apparel” and “Spices”. He also reaches out to at-risk inner-city teens through his Culinary Boot Camp, a five-day cooking course that preps them for careers in the food service industry.

Joe Randall

 Joe Randall is known for his southern cooking, and in 2000, he created a cooking school in Savannah, Georgia, to pass his teachings on to other top chef hopefuls. Randall is also the founder of the African-American Chef Hall of Fame to honour those with outstanding culinary skills.

Timothy Dean   

 After experiencing some personal and financial setbacks, executive chef Timothy Dean’s luck turned with an appearance as a contestant on Bravo’s Top Chef in 2010. He has worked alongside several celebrated chefs including Alain Ducasse, and is the executive chef and owner of Prime Steakhouse in Baltimore.

Sylvia Woods

 Sylvia Woods, also known as the Queen of Soul Food, started her culinary career with a farmhouse salon in her hometown of Hemingway, South Carolina. She later moved to Harlem, where she grew a small soul food locale into today’s 450-seat Sylvia’s Restaurant, which celebrated its 50th anniversary in August. The Woods family also created the Sylvia and Herbert Woods Scholarship Endowment Foundation, which grants four-year partial scholarships to children in the community.

Melba Wilson

Melba Wilson has comfort food running through her veins and with good reason–her aunt is well known chef Sylvia Woods, who has been dubbed the Queen of Soul Food. Her restaurant, Melba’s, hosts open-mike nights and is another staple in her Harlem neighbourhood.

Marvin Woods

Marvin Woods excels at African cooking styles with influences from Spain, France and the Caribbean. His resume includes helping Donald Trump open Harrah’s at Trump Plaza in Atlantic City and working at The Sea Grill at Rockefeller Center and Helmsley Palace before becoming executive chef at New York’s Café Beulah’s. Woods also serves as host of Atlanta’s Home Plate, where he puts a healthy twist on southern recipes.

Jeff Henderson

 Jeff Henderson took a turn for the better when he left a life of crime and dedicated himself to cooking instead. In 2001, he became the first African-American Chef de Cuisine at Caesars Palace and then became the executive chef at the Bellagio. Even Will Smith was impressed by Henderson’s reformation. The actor bought the rights to his autobiography, Cooked, in the hopes of someday bringing the story to the big screen.

Kevin Sbraga

Before becoming the first African-American to win Bravo’s Top Chef cooking competition in 2010, Kevin Sbraga was already wowing taste buds during his time at La Mas Perrier, the restaurant of renowned Chef Georges Perrier. Sbraga says he would like to open a small restaurant in Philadelphia. 

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July 2014
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