Lena Richard – America’s Unknown Celebrity Chef

When Lena Richard cooked her first chicken on television, she beat Julia Child to the screen by over a decade. At a time when most African American women cooks worked behind swinging kitchen doors, Richard claimed her place as a culinary authority, broadcasting in the living rooms of New Orleans’s elite white families. She was an entrepreneur, educator, author, and an icon—and her legacy lives on in her recipes.

Produced by Sidedoor: A Podcast from the Smithsonian.

Special thanks to producer Lizzie Peabody and the Smithsonian for sharing this story with The Kitchen Sisters Present.