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Who Should Be the Next White House Chef? Bryant Terry

Another chef on my personal short list for the White House (Kitchen) Cabinet would be Bryant Terry. He cooks some amazing food as you can tell from his “Eco-Soul Kitchen” posts at TheRoot.com and the pages of his cookbooks, Grub and the forthcoming Vegan Soul Kitchen, but it is Terry’s work in the realm of food justice that makes me want him talking with our next president over dinner.

That work includes his projects such as b-healthy! (Build Healthy Eating and Lifestyles to Help Youth), a multi-year initiative with the objective of empowering youth to create a more just and sustainable food system. Other projects include People’s Grub Parties in cooperation with the People’s Grocery, the Black and Green Fund, and the Southern Organic Kitchen Project, a program that will help bring nutrition education and food justice to historically-excluded urban communities in the South. Along with his knives, Terry would bring to the White House a unique understanding of the negative impacts of our agricultural policy on our nation’s people.

Chef Terry gave me a moment of time to fill out his “application” for the job.

What would you bring to the table as White House Chef?

BT: I can burn.  And for the past eight years I have worked to build a more just and sustainable food system and have used cooking as a tool to illuminate the intersections between poverty, structural racism, and food insecurity.

What would you put on your Menu for Change?

BT: All these dishes would be made using Grub (i.e., healthy, safe, sustainable, affordable, culturally appropriate, and fair food):

Drinks
Social Justice Juice
Anti-Patriarchal Punch

Starters
Anti-Colonial Akara
Democratic Dim Sum
Fair Trade Taquitos

Mains
Three Sisters Sovereignty Stew
Peaceful Poached Salmon with Disarmament Dill Sauce
Progressive Potato Latkes with Love Lentils

Sides
Universal Health Care Collards
Criminal Justice Reform Rice with Better Schools Beans

Dessert
Gay and Trans Rights-Roasted Grapes with Red Wine

What would you ask President Obama if you had the chance to talk over a meal?

BT: Mr. President, can you and Secretary of State Clinton give up the beef?

Bryant Terry is an eco chef and author of the forthcoming Vegan Soul Kitchen: Fresh, Healthy, and Creative African-American Cuisine (Da Capo/Perseus March 2009)

7 comments
  1. Colleen

    Wow, it would be great if Chef Bryant Terry, or any chef, brought sustainable eating to the White House. It would demonstrate the White House’s seriousness about climate change and the envrionmental damage due to our traditional diet.

    I think we should all take a bite from his (well-worded) menu and promote some real change.

  2. Chiquita

    No beef? Why would he do a thing like that? Eating animals is a necessary part of our omnivore diets, sorry folks. We are top of the food chain, out of respect we don’t eat each other of course. If people stopped eating beef, chicken and pigs then what the hell else are they good for? You gonna turn your house into a barnyard and keep them all as pets?

    Fish are animals(and pets) too. You gonna stop eating them as well?

    Whatever your food preferences are, that’s great. But how dare you try to tell me what my stomach can and can’t devour. Stay off my plate!

    I know how farm animals are butchered and cut up and how they make it to my plate and I thank God for the butchers and farmers who can tolerate that line of work.

  3. mike fire

    Come on Barack… keep making good decisions by making Bryant your chef. Let them two beautiful little girls eat food that will have their minds and bodies jumping into health. And Bryant would be such a perfect ambassador for health and would match the style of the Obamas. This shouldn’t be a quip… man this should be a real possibility. Is it? HOw do we make it so?

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