Nov. 18, 2021

President Neal Smatresk, CMHT Dean Jana Hawley and Chef Bryant Terry at President's Lecture Series

The UNT community was treated to stories and cooking from James Beard Award-winning chef Bryant Terry this week. The food justice activist and critically acclaimed author spent time with students and spoke at the President's Lecture Series on Tuesday, then joined another group of students from the College of Merchandising, Hospitality and Tourism's hospitality management program to prepare a lunch on Wednesday at the Heart & Soul Full Guest Chef Day at The Club at Gateway.

During the President's Lecture Series presentation, Chef Terry, who holds an M.A. in history from New York University, told students in the audience to “go for what you desire and do what you love.” He urged them to “drown out a lot of the noise and chatter” and focus on what they, not others, want to do with their life.

He also discussed his love of vegan cooking and showed the audience — during a live demonstration — what ingredients can be added to vegan recipes to provide a meal just as tasty as a non-vegan dish. Terry recounted his time growing up in the South and urged students to do their part to create both a better world and a better food system.

Bryant Terry's Guest Chef Day menu and dishes

With Guest Chef Day, he proved how tasty vegan recipes can be, working with students on a menu that included ginger beer, smashed potatoes, savory grits and more.

Chef Terry's Vegan Soul Kitchen (VSK): Fresh, Healthy and Creative African-American Cuisine was named one of the best vegetarian/vegan cookbooks of the last 25 years by Cooking Light Magazine, and, in 2015, he was presented with the James Beard Leadership Award for his work in creating a more accessible, equitable and ethical food system in America. His latest book is Black Food: Stories, Art and Recipes from Across the African Diaspora [A Cookbook]

Pictured above are President Neal Smatresk and Dean Jana Hawley of the College of Merchandising, Hospitality and Tourism, with Chef Bryant Terry at the President's Lecture Series. Chef Terry's all-vegan menu is pictured next to a glass of Ginger Beer for Guest Chef Day at The Club at Gateway, with three of the dishes: Crunchy Chopped Salad with Creamy Herb Dressing; Smashed Potatoes, Peas and Corn with Chile-Garlic Oil; and Savory Grits with Slow-Cooked Collard Greens. (Chef Day photos by Jessica DeLeón)

View the livestream of the 2021 President's Lecture Series