Women We Love 2022: Deborah VanTrece

Deborah VanTrece

by Leslie Andrews

Chef Deborah VanTrece is heralded as one of the South’s most renowned culinary personalities. The best-selling author and founder of the Atlanta-based VanTrece Hospitality Group is a successful business owner and passionate advocate for social justice for marginalized and vulnerable groups. Her unique approach to creating modern, global soul food is heavily influenced by the three decades VanTrece spent traveling as a flight attendant. Her award-winning soul food restaurant, Twisted Soul Cookhouse & Pours, is the perfect representation of what lies at the heart of her cuisine: the intersection of food and culture. The road to success as a chef, restaurateur, and business owner has been paved with many daunting challenges in a fiercely competitive field. “Being a young Black woman in the culinary industry brings an extra level of challenges that other chefs do not have to deal with,” VanTrece tells GO. “You have to work harder and fight to earn your dues, and even then you might not be on even footing with your white counter- parts.” VanTrece never let these obstacles stop her, and is currently channeling her energy into two new restaurants in Atlanta: Serenidad, featuring modern Latin soul food, and Oreatha’s, a tribute to mothers and comfort food around the world. She’s also working on her second cookbook as a follow-up to her 2021 bestseller, The Twisted Soul Cookbook: Modern Soul Food with Global Flavors. VanTrece is motivated by the influential impact she has as a mentor to other chefs of color and women. “Hopefully,” she says, “my journey will make it a little easier for other young, Black chefs who have high ambition and talent.” –LC


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