So many Black communities are continuing to create culture and history through their cooking rituals. We pay homage to our ancestors who kept recipes in tin cans or shoe boxes because there was a time when we didn’t have the means to record recipes; these cookbooks like listed below document our culture and our history through recipes made with love and remembrance. BLAC created a modern list for you to spice up your tried and true recipes with these cookbooks in your kitchen.
Here are 8 cookbooks by Black chefs you will enjoy having in your library for years to come.
1My America: Recipes from a Young Black Chef: A Cookbook
Chef, author, and Bronx native Kwame Onwuachi depicts a nuanced, multicultural interpretation of what defines American food in “My America.” Rich with 125 flavorful recipes, this book includes both traditional dishes from his heritage (think Nigerian jollof and Jamaican beef patties) and more modern recipes from regions like the American South (think baby back ribs and red velvet cake). In addition to recipes, Onwuachi also blends in stories of his own travels to explicitly connect the undeniable link between cuisine and culture.
If you’re looking to diversify your home cooking game — and celebrate the cultural patchwork of America — this cookbook is a staple.
2Black, White, and The Grey: The Story of an Unexpected Friendship and a Landmark Restaurant
Okay, so this one isn’t actually a cookbook per se, but it’s all about a Black-owned restaurant we love: The Grey. Mashama Bailey, executive chef and co-owner of The Grey and The Grey Market, recounts her journey to opening the award-winning Southern eatery. The Grey, which was once a segregated Greyhound Bus Terminal, is now a popular food destination in Savannah, Georgia where Bailey serves her delicious cuisine.
With a Guyanese mother and a father from Alabama who ran a popular New York soul food restaurant, Lazarus Lynch grew up around plenty of flavors. Now, the two-time Chopped winner is sharing over 100 recipes that put a new twist on classic soul food favorites in “Son of a Southern Chef.” Shrimp and Crazy Creamy Cheddar Grits and Jalapeño Havarti Cornbread are just some of his mouthwatering recipes. Don’t forget to wash it all down with his Southern Sweet Tea with Bourbon.
Packed with 75 recipes from grandmothers, Somali chef Hawa Hassan’s cookbook is the next best thing to actual travel thanks to flavorful spices and pairings. Bibis, also known as grandmothers, discuss with Hassan the history of spices as they relate to their home countries. Try the ajemi bread with carrots and green pepper or the shiro (ground chickpea stew) for a hearty solution to everyday meals.
In “Black Girl Baking” Jerrelle Guy uses memories from her childhood in Florida to share recipes with readers that have a special place in her heart. The founder of the food blog Chocolate For Basil says her cookbook is for everyone. In an interview with Bon Appetit, Guy said, “You don’t have to be a baker to bake any of these recipes. It’s not about perfection; it’s about the journey.”
6Jubilee: Recipes from Two Centuries of African American Cooking
In this award-winning cookbook, African American culinary scholar Toni Tipton-Martin introduces new historical facts and insight on Black American cuisine. Tipton-Martin combines the insight and skills of enslaved cooks to today’s Black food influencers, in order to document generations of culinary achievements. Dive into recipes like sweet potato biscuits and spoon bread.
7Eating Well to Win: Inspired Living Through Inspired Cooking
Chef Richard Ingraham has been NBA star Dwayne Wade‘s personal chef for more than a decade, so he knows a thing or two about making healthy, hearty dishes. Ingraham has also created his own chef network called ChefRLI that caters to professional athletes across the country.
Ingraham consistently creates dishes that allow your body to perform while fueling it with all the nutrients you need. His client list continues to grow, which is no surprise considering his repertoire includes the likes of blueberry oatmeal muffins and sweet potato lasagna.
Popular food writer Jocelyn Delk Adams has been combining Black culture, food, and her family’s history since 2012 on her blog Grandbaby Cakes. In her debut cookbook, she pays homage to the Black bakers in her family, connecting past, present, and future through baking. Her cookbook is inspirational, fun, and full of tasty treats that’ve been passed down for generations.