Osayi Endolyn is a James Beard Award-winning writer whose work explores food and identity. She has work in the New York Times, Time, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, the Wall Street Journal, Eater, Food & Wine, Condé Nast Traveler, Travel + Leisure, and the Oxford American. Osayi co-authored the national bestseller cookbook, THE RISE: Black Cooks and the Soul of American Food, with Marcus Samuelsson.
Her essays for the collections YOU AND I EAT THE SAME and WOMEN ON FOOD are widely celebrated. She appears in Chef’s Table and Ugly Delicious on Netflix, The Next Thing You Eat on Hulu, and has been featured on NPR’s 1A, the Takeaway with Melissa Harris-Perry, the Splendid Table with Francis Lam, Special Sauce with Ed Levine, All Heart, and the Sporkful podcast for which she and the team won a 2020 Webby.
Osayi earned her BA in French from UCLA where she minored in Afro American studies, and her MFA in writing from the Savannah College of Art and Design. In 2019, she was awarded the UC Berkeley-11th Hour Food & Farming Journalism Fellowship. That same year, Eater invited her to guest edit the inaugural Eater Young Gun section with stories focused on newcomers to the industry. In 2018, Southern Living named her one of 30 Women Moving Southern Food Forward. She serves on the board of trustees for the Edna Lewis Foundation, the board of directors for Radical Xchange, and worked with PepsiCo’s Dig In initiative in support of Black-owned restaurants, part of the company’s broader long-term commitment to racial equity.
Along with forthcoming book collaborations, Osayi is writing a narrative that explores systemic racism in American restaurant and dining culture for Amistad/HarperCollins. A California native and former resident of the South, she lives in Brooklyn, New York.
(photo credit: Andrew Thomas Lee)What Osayi's up to now