There’s a meme floating around that reads, “Africa is the greatest ghostwriter of all time.” In our everyday lives, we see multiple examples of why we can't deny this to be true. From the foods we eat to the way we travel and even down to how we experience things, the history of our ancestors lives on.
Many who have Latin heritage and are of African descent are making strides in the hospitality industry right now. They’re individuals we should all be proud to have on the front lines representing the culture, no matter the blend. Here’s our list of ones to watch.
Committed to providing healthier options to food lovers, iAmHealthyFit is changing how we consume food. After facing challenges with her weight, Yenory Garcia created a safe and fun space for those interested in making serious nutritional changes. The best part of it all is that she teaches you how to do it without losing the flavor of the foods you’re eating. Sporting Garifuna roots, you can find her whipping up something good in three different languages. Be sure to see what we mean by following her on Instagram.
Bren Herrera was pursuing a law degree when an invitation to be on Emeril Lagasse’s show changed her life forever. You may have seen her recently on your TV screen and can plan to continue to as she breaks ground in the kitchen. Her love for cooking started as a young girl as she followed her mother’s recipes and later became passionate about sharing her Cuban heritage through food. Follow Herrera's journey at BrenHerrera.com and on Instagam.
Hailing from New York’s Washington Heights neighborhood, chef Nelson German now calls Oakland, California, home as he shares his Dominican heritage one dish at a time. Sunday brunch at his restaurant alaMar has quickly become the talk of the town with offerings to include red velvet flapjacks, Dominican eggs Benedict and braised oxtails with poached eggs. Let your eyes and stomachs follow German around the kitchen on Instagram.
Highlighting the African Diaspora in Latin America and the Caribbean through culture is at the core of Afro Latino Travel (ALT)—the brainchild of Dash Harris and a few friends. Proudly from Panama, it’s evident how Harris prioritizes education of the Diaspora. Through ALT, tourists have access to real local experiences that specifically celebrate African traditions and history. Follow her on Instagram to see where ALT is going next.
Santana Caress Benitez
You may have recently seen Santana Benitez in Spike Lee’s “She’s Gotta Have It” series as Lourdes “LuLu” Blackmon, but this chef has been in the game for some time. Benitez is not only one of Food Network's “Chopped” champions, she also recently ventured off to become a culinary instructor, hosting culinary workshops and speaking out about food justice. Stop by her site, I'll Cook Like Your Mother and Instagram to learn why this Afro-Boricua should be on your radar and like the other professionals listed, one to watch.