Detroiters featured in New York Times' article on black chefs in America

Melody Baetens
The Detroit News
Chef Max Hardy.

Two Detroit chefs were name-dropped in a high-profile article in the New York Times this week. 

Titled "16 Black Chefs Changing Food in America," the feature put a spotlight on taste makers that are helping to shape the country's current dining scene. 

Folk Detroit's Kiki Bokungu Louya and Max Hardy of River Bistro and Coop Detroit are two Detroit natives featured in the article. The lengthy piece, written by national correspondent John Eligon and the Times' food reporter Julia Moskin, also included New Orleans' chef and writer Tunde Wey, who has spent significant time in Detroit during the past few years hosting events and educating people on the intersection of food and race. 

In the story, Hardy talks about his desire to come back to Detroit after many years living elsewhere and working as a chef. 

"Growing up in Detroit, you didn't see chefs and restaurants elevated like that. It was Motor City, not Food City," he told the Times. "Now I can invent a dinner based on the recipes of Hercules, a slave who was George Washington's personal chef, and I can have my restaurant, and I can teach kids in my community." 

Louya also left Detroit and returned to open a restaurant that serves the community. She, along with co-owner Rohani Foulkes, runs the Farmer's Hand store and Folk in Corktown, a cafe that serves beautiful, healthy food and pays employees a living wage.

"We want to be your neighborhood bodega, but we also have this weird educational component, so we do a lot of explaining," she said in the article. "We are sourcing your food from local farms and purveyors, but we can still feed a family of four for $10." 

More:Seasoned chef Max Hardy returns home to build legacy in Detroit

More:24-seat café Folk Detroit opens in Corktown

Twitter: @melodybaetens