Natural Foods Merchandiser

40 Under 40: Bryant Terry

Bryant Terry
Chef, author, food activist
Berkeley, Calif.
Age: 34

Author. Activist. Chef. Food and Policy Fellow with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. And he's not even 35 years old. Bryant Terry's passion for food was instilled in him during his youth in Memphis, Tenn., where his grandparents encouraged an appreciation for growing and cooking food. But he didn't stop at creating cuisine. He didn't even stop at creating eco-conscious dishes. In 2001, he founded b-healthy!—Build Healthy Eating and Lifestyles to Help Youth—a five-year initiative to raise awareness of food-justice issues and get youth involved in building a more just and sustainable food system.

Terry's book, Grub: Ideas for an Urban Organic Kitchen (Tarcher, 2006), co-authored with Anna Lappé, won the 2007 Nautilus Book Award along with other critical acclaim, and launched him on a tour, speaking and doing cooking demonstrations everywhere from co-ops to universities. Now he's working on a healthy soul-food cookbook, Organic Soul, due out in 2009.

He received the Natural Gourmet Institute's Award for Excellence in Health-Supportive Food Education, and has advised or been featured in several TV shows and an educational film project. Terry and his recipes have also been featured in Gourmet, Food and Wine, The San Francisco Chronicle, Vibe and Domino.

What first inspired your food activism? Learning about the " Free Breakfast for Children Program" started by the Black Panthers in the '60s.

What do you love most about what you do? Spending my days writing at home in my boxers.

What would you most like to see change in the U.S. food system in the next five years? I would like to see a shift to more local and regional food systems driven and owned by community members.

As a child, what did you want to grow up to be? A lawyer.

What's your favorite food? Right now, sambusa soup at Burma Superstar Restaurant in San Francisco.

Any tattoos? I have an om symbol on my left shoulder. Namaste.

Natural Foods Merchandiser volume XXVIII/number 8/p. 37

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