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Chef Spotlight: 13 questions with Bryant Terry

Bryant Terry’s most recent book is “Afro-Vegan: Farm-Fresh African, Caribbean, and Southern Flavors Remixed.” (Courtesy photo)
Bryant Terry’s most recent book is “Afro-Vegan: Farm-Fresh African, Caribbean, and Southern Flavors Remixed.” (Courtesy photo)

Bryant Terry, author of “Afro Vegan” and the chef-in-residence at the Museum of the African Diaspora in San Francisco, will give a free talk Tuesday as part of this year’s Get Lit Festival.

This marks his first visit to Spokane, where he’ll be talking about his life as an eco-chef, vegan and food activist.

His talk is sponsored by the Hagan Center for the Humanities at Spokane Community College in partnership with Get Lit.

Here, we get to know the 44-year-old James Beard Leadership Award-winning chef a bit better.

Any places in particular you are hoping to eat while you are here? I have heard good things about Mizuna.

What’s your favorite dish to cook at home? Tortilla soup. My daughters love it.

What are your go-to ingredients? Depends on the season. Right now it is asparagus.

What’s a dish you’ve never made but would like to, and why? Fufu, which is dough made from boiled and ground plantain or cassava, used as a staple food in parts of western and central Africa.

What dish or ingredient best represents you? Collard greens, for sure.

What’s your favorite food pairing? Beans and cornbread.

What are some steps home cooks can take to eat more sustainably? Growing food at home (if one has space), buying produce from local farmers, shopping at farmers markets and eating a plant-centered diet.

What are you working on now? A new book, a web series, a TV show and a number of public events in my role as chef-in-residence at the Museum of the African Diaspora in San Francisco.

What’s on your playlist? Right now I have Meshell Ndegeocello’s “Ventriloquism,” Cardi B’s “Invasion of Privacy,” Kacey Musgraves’ “Golden Hour,” “Czarface Meets Metal Face” (by Czarface and MF Doom) and “The Best of Lee Scratch Perry” on rotation.

What’s on your bucket list? At the top of my short-term bucket list is visiting the Galápagos Islands for my birthday next year.

What’s your biggest challenge right now? Being a good husband and dad while finishing my next book and juggling all my other projects.

What are your career goals? I want to continue writing books until my last days, I want my own travel show and I want to have a successful line of prepared food and beverages in markets around the world.

What advice would you give to aspiring chefs? Study the greats, read lots of cookbooks, find a talented chef to serve as your mentor and keep one eye on all the important social and political issues connected to food.