Food has the ability to bring people to the table and create communities through shared connections. With so much of our lives moving online, social media accounts and blogs are a great way to pull up a virtual seat.
There is no shortage of incredible bloggers, recipe developers, small business owners, culinary content creators and other authorities in the Black food space. So for Black History Month, "Good Morning America" spoke to a handful of those who help put a spotlight on their culture, heritage and cuisine and found some standouts who you should know and add to your own feeds.
These culinary creators are not only trusted voices for their own platforms, but also continue to evolve with the ever-changing food space around them. Whether it's appetite-inducing viral recipe content on TikTok or creating trusted lists of resources to support Black-owned restaurants, check out the list below of people who have caught our eye online.
Eden Hagos: Food writer, founder of BlackFoodie
"I'm truly a foodie at heart," Hagos told "GMA." And though her passion for food was passed down from her "family of food lovers with Ethiopian roots," it took "experiencing racism while eating out" to spark her own journey to "explore and celebrate Black food culture boldly."
"My experience has been exciting, sometimes challenging but always delicious," she said. "It’s been awesome to create a mission-driven business and create opportunities for Black creators, chefs and food entrepreneurs. Food media and marketing has not always been welcoming, but we built our own lane and stayed true to our values."
Her website and social media account include a healthy mix of original and user-generated content that has created an inclusive community where people can explore food and culture through a Black lens with a focus on the best of African, Caribbean and Southern cuisine.
"The BlackFoodie community is a really special one in that there's very little that they don't respond well to, but I notice that they really love content that focuses on foods and recipes that mix classic recipes with diasporic ingredients," she said. "For example, a French toast recipe made with Nigerian Agege bread -- also known as Ghanaian sweet bread -- was extremely popular."
She added that the engaging comments between her followers around a dish "always brings a smile -- and reminds us that we're on the right path."
"It feels amazing to be seen as an authority in the community," Hagos said. "There are so many incredible Black creators out there, whether they're photographers, food stylists, writers, chefs or food entrepreneurs, they all have talent and just need a chance to shine -- I've been in their position before where I had a great idea and just wanted a chance to share it with the world -- our ability to spotlight them is even more rewarding."
Her two biggest role models in the industry are Ethiopian-Swedish chef, restaurateur and author Marcus Samuelsson and culinary historian Jessica B. Harris. "But I also really look up to Carla P. Hall and Toni Tipton-Martin for the work they've done and continue to do to show people what Black food culture is really about."
She also shared two other accounts she recently followed on Instagram, "whose content and photography I really enjoy." Madelynne Ross at @bitesandbevsatl, an Atlanta-based food photographer and stylist, and Bryan Ford at @artisanbryan, a food columnist at Saveur magazine.
August DeWindt: TikTok creator, food blogger, small business owner
This New York City native is a woman who wears many hats. In the wake of the pandemic, August DeWindt quickly adapted within the food space to tackle TikTok when she was forced to put her two Brooklyn-based food stand pop-ups on hold.
Her creative and uniquely bright, yet relatable concept, "There's Food at Home," takes followers back to the familiar phrase DeWindt said she's "sure everyone heard their parents say at some point in childhood."
"It’s been amazing to be able to share my recipes on my blog and TikTok. It’s a fun, creative outlet, and I love to be able to help people realize they can make good food at home and don’t have to be skilled to do so," she said of her grocery lists and recipe content.
"I’m very grateful that I can have this platform as a Black creator. Oftentimes we get overlooked in the food space, so I feel a great responsibility to continue to do well, so I can inspire other people to push forward and try to do the same," DeWindt said.
She said that her favorite part of the food blogging community has been creating friendships with other creators in the space.
"We inspire each other and go to each other for advice. It’s great to have like-minded people to talk to and people who understand what you are experiencing," she said.
DeWindt said her food icon is Jocelyn Delk Adams of Grandbaby Cakes. "She is someone I truly admire. She, too, was inspired by her grandmother, and she makes a lot of Southern foods, which I grew up eating and cooking."
If there was one Black food creator she would cook with, she chose Chef Millie Peartree because she also lives in New York City, makes soul food staples and "started a program to feed kids in The Bronx during the pandemic -- I loved that."
Charity Morgan: Celebrity plant-based chef
With over 15 years of experience, the Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts grad is passionate about health and nutrition and offers a panoramic view of what it means to live a plant-based lifestyle.
"I like to post familiar foods that people have no clue can be vegan," Charity Morgan told "GMA" about her cooking style. "Dishes that bring comfort and nostalgia, like truffle mac n' cheese, juicy loaded burgers, Creole gumbo and so much more."
Morgan has cooked for professional athletes and celebrities, including catering a 100% plant-based menu for Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth’s intimate Nashville wedding. She was also featured in the 2018 James Cameron-produced documentary "The Game Changers" and gained even more notoriety for her mouthwatering spread of signature dishes.
"I get inspiration from the smallest things. I don’t have many accounts I follow, as I am not much of a scroller on social," she said. But she added that her inspiration "comes from people that say 'I could never be plant-based, because I love blank.' That inspires me to create those dishes."
Anela Malik: Food blogger
Food blogger Anela Malik told "GMA" she's "had a longstanding fascination with food," which prompted her to launch "Feed the Malik" while living abroad in 2018 as a passion project and outlet to explore outside her familiar bubble.
Now based in Washington, D.C., Malik focuses on food and travel, simple recipes and sharing diverse perspectives. She was hailed early on during the pandemic for helping to highlight and curate lists of Black-owned restaurants to support amid the groundswell surrounding the Black Lives Matter movement.
"I never could have imagined the response my work has provoked. The best part of that journey has been the relationships I've developed with food folks across the country and from all backgrounds who work with food in some way," she said. "I'm always amazed and inspired by the talent and hospitality of food folks and by the commitment of so many of them to trying to chart a path forward towards a more equitable food space."
If Malik could cook a meal with one culinary powerhouse, she said it would be Toni Tipton-Martin, so she could "hopefully take a peek at her collection of Black cookbooks during the process. I love history and would appreciate the chance to peruse the vignettes of Black food history contained in her collection."
Malik said she doesn't have a food or culinary role model or idol.
"In our society, I think we very often idolize fame and success. And as we've seen in the last year, we often do so to an extent that allows us to overlook deep fissures and flaws in individual behavior and in the systems we operate in, like the food industry," she said. "There are a lot of smart, incredible people in food doing great work, but I couldn't pick a single idol. Instead, I'd shout out all the unnamed cooks, service workers, dishwashers, baristas, bartenders, aunties, grandmas and others who truly fuel the food space."
Here are a few of Malik's suggestions for Black food content creators to follow: KJ of @Blackfoodfridays, who she said is "really helping to push the conversation forward as far as Black food representation on social media." She also said she finds "joy and inspiration in Danielle Salmon's page, @followmygut. She's very outspoken and also funny, watching her stories is a breath of fresh air."
"In the DC area, I have to mention Paola Velez @smallorchids, Takera Gholson @flightsandfoods, and Cornelia Poku @blackgirlseatdc. All of them are powerhouses who bring deep knowledge and love of food to their content, while also letting their personalities and humor shine through," Malik said.
Rosalynn Daniels: Food Personality, Restaurant Partner, Creator
A self-proclaimed hybrid of Martha Stewart and Oprah, Rosalynn Daniels first created her website and brand as "an outlet to recreate entertaining and dining experiences" and since becoming a wife and mom, has honed in on the recipes and practical solutions to put it all together.
Not only has she curated a unique, vibrant site and social media presence for all things food, but she also told "GMA" that another exuberant Black female culinary star has been an inspiration. "I absolutely adore Carla Hall," Daniels said. "She is an inspiration that my dreams of sharing delicious recipes with the world is actually something that is possible for me too."
For Daniels, having a voice within the food world has opened up learning opportunities to understand "different styles and techniques from others in my community."
"Black food differs from person to person, whether it is because of the region in which they were raised, or where their families' traditions may have derived from," she said. "Being able to expose my style of black cooking and knowing that I could be teaching something new, while learning something new from my peers, makes being a black food blogger always exciting."
If Daniels could pick one person to dine or cook with, other than Carla Hall, she said it would be Mashama Bailey, James Beard best chef southeast winner and co-owner of Savannah's hit restaurant, The Grey. "She is the epitome of Black cooking and what it can be," Daniels said, adding that they loved their experience at her restaurant "so much so, that we named our baby who was born later on that year, Hollister Grey Daniels."
Alex Hill: Home Cook, Recipe Developer, Cooking Instructor
From the time she first learned to cook with her mom, Hill said her passion for food has been rooted in community and family. She considers it her "love language."
Hill found that being a part of the Black food community online, with her platform Cooking with Friends, has allowed her to connect with a wide range of new people.
"I love seeing how their different backgrounds shape their food style," she said. "Everyone's voice is different, so I love seeing how others are sharing their passion with the world."
One person Hill looked up to in the food world was New Orleans, Louisiana-based chef and author Leyah Chase, known as the Queen of Creole Cuisine. Chase's "upbringing and culture" that's how I cook.
"She passed away almost two years ago, but I definitely would've loved to cook a meal with her," Hill said, adding that she has related to her upbringing and culture and emulated that in her own cooking.
Meet 6 Black food creators you should be following in 2021 originally appeared on goodmorningamerica.com