Chef Roshara Sanders makes history as first Black female instructor at Culinary Institute

Chef Roshara Sanders is breaking barriers in the cooking world. At 30 years old, Sanders is the first Black female instructor at the Culinary Institute of America (CIA). The prestigious establishment was founded in 1946. “The CIA’s been around since the 1940s, and I’m the first Black woman [instructor] and it’s 2020, and that’s a problem,” Sanders told the New York Post in an interview. Sanders graduated from CIA in 2014 and went on to win a season of the Food Network’s competition show, “Chopped” the following year. She is the current chef de partie at Oceana in midtown Manhattan, served in the Army for six years before starting at CIA and has been cooking and helping others since she was 4 years old. Sanders grew up living in Habitat for Humanity housing with her single mother, who used cooking herself to cope with addiction problems. Even with a degree from CIA, “Chopped” recognition and her status as a James Beard-affiliated chef — the food industry’s highest honor — Sanders said she still deals with racism and sexism in the kitchen. “At Oceana, I had an employee who was nasty to me, who would bully me, and I just out-cooked him. Your skills will speak,” she said