If you’re a fan of the Food Network, you’ve definitely noticed how white and unseasoned the lineup can seem at times. Apparently, the network has also noticed, because its new Hot List of food stars to watch features several Black chefs and cooks.
According to Deadline, Food Network’s inaugural Hot List includes Tabitha Brown, Eric Adjepong, Darnell Ferguson, Cliff Crooks and Kalen Allen.
The list features social media stars, classically trained chefs, competition winners and Food Network personalities.
The full list includes: Tabitha Brown, The Try Guys, Ahmad Alzahabi, Kelsey Barnard Clark, Darnell Ferguson, Matt Broussard, Cliff Crooks, Rhett & Link, Joe Sasto, Kathy Fang, Eric Adjepong and Kalen Allen.
“At Food Network, there’s nothing more exciting than finding the next incredible culinary talent. Each of these dozen chefs and influencers has a completely distinct and unique point of view. Bringing these electrifying experts together for our inaugural hot list is the perfect opportunity to draw attention to them,” said Courtney White, President, Food Network and Food Streaming Content, Discovery. “We invite our audience to join us in celebrating these dynamic food stars on the rise.”
Tabitha Brown is an actress and social media star known for her videos showcasing vegan recipes. As previously reported by The Root, she recently launched her children’s show Tab Time on YouTube
Darnell Ferguson appears regularly on Food Network series Guy’s Grocery Games and Tournament of Champions. He also has the restaurants SuperChefs and Tha Drippin Crab in Louisville, Kentucky.
Kalen Allen can be seen as a correspondent for The Ellen DeGeneres Show, as well as his The Kalen Allen YouTube channel where he has cooking and critique videos.
Cliff Crooks is a successful New York chef who has worked in prominent restaurants in the city for 20 years. He was a contestant on Top Chef, has been a judge on Hell’s Kitchen and is the host of Food Network’s Chef Boot Camp. He is set to join Anne Burrell on Worst Cooks in America Season 24.
Eric Adjepong grabbed attention when he made it to the finals of Top Chef Season 16. Yes, he was robbed. He’s been a judge on the Discovery+ series The Great Soul Food Cook-Off, and was recently announced as the host of upcoming Food Network competition series Alex vs America with Alex Guarnaschelli
Out of 12 personalities on the list, five are Black, which shows that Food Network is making an effort to broaden its focus.
The list will begin rolling out Dec. 20 on Food Network’s social media, with each person or group featured on the digital special Food Stars to Watch in 2022.