TV chef opens doors to minorities | WDVM25 and DCW50

WASHINGTON (WDVM) — Representation matters. When people of color are on television, as news anchors, actors or even hosts of entertainment shows, it says a lot. A woman from the district makes performance history as the first Afro-Latin television chef.

Bren Herrera is the host of Culture Kitchen, a cooking and lifestyle show airing on Cleo TV. She said, “Being the first Afro-Latina to have a cooking show and a lifestyle show on a network is such an honor, but a big responsibility too because it can’t stop there. Herrera wants to make sure she not only represents women of color, but paves the way for more women like her to host their own shows.

Taking this responsibility to heart, Herrera uses her show to educate people about her culture. “It’s not just about entertainment. You tune into one of these cooking shows because you want to be entertained, but it’s also really important to me to educate and really introduce the public to who we are as people of color, people of the Caribbean, people from the African Diaspora as well as our roots,” she said.

“It’s about celebrating culture, my culture, especially through food,” Herrera explained. As a Cuban-Jamaican, Herrera focused the first season on dishes that represented who she is. She said, “I really wanted people to see that people of color, black people, Latinos aren’t monolithic.”

“We represent so many shades, so many different ways, cultures and traditions, and at the end of the day, we can draw from this one thing in common and that’s food,” Herrera said. She uses the show to sprinkle in new vocabulary and facts about the dishes and cultures she makes dishes from. “When I bring these other cultures or other ingredients and flavors into my cooking, it’s always a way of showing you that the world is so big and we’re all different. We all vibrate differently, but we can all vibe together around this dish,” she said.

Herrera acknowledges that a TV show won’t solve all the problems, but she hopes it can open her eyes and start meaningful conversations. She said: “(Food) is beautiful that way because it has this enormous power that few things have to bring people together, to keep us together and to kind of remind you that ultimately life is to spend it with people you love. and vice versa.”

Herrera begins filming the second season of Culture Kitchen in the coming weeks and is expected to air in late spring or early summer. The second season will focus on Jamaican foods and other Caribbean islands.

Karl M. Bailey