Every fall, 7x7 editors scratch our heads, pull out our hair, and lose sleep at night as we deliberate the biggest quandary of our year: How to select just 20 luminaries from the Bay Area's boundless constellation of stars.
As always, this year's Hot 20 comprises the brightest influencers of our time, in fields as diverse as hip-hop and politics, philanthropy and fashion, theater and neuroscience. You'll meet an activist chef, a sensational first-time author, the James Dean of rappers, and a baseballer for the history books. And now, please give a big round of applause for the 2016 Hot 20!
THE FOOD ACTIVIST: Bryant Terry, Chef-in-Residence, Museum of the African Diaspora
(Courtesy of Bryant Terry)
When chef Bryant Terry first heard KRS One's "Beef," the then high-schooler realized that what we eat can be extremely political. As Chef-in-Residence at the Museum of the African Diaspora, Terry spearheads programming that highlights the intersections of food, activism, and art, such as a panel called "Black Women, Food & Power" that sold out six weeks in advance. "People are literally hungry for this programming, says the popular vegan chef, whose own accolades defy summarization. He has four books to his name, including 2014's Afro Vegan (Ten Speed Press); is a member of the American Chef Corps thanks to Secretary Hillary Clinton; and, last year, took home the James Beard Foundation's Leadership Award. But, says Terry, "It's one thing to intellectually engage in food issues....we really want to feed people." Inspired in part by the Black Panthers' famous free breakfast program, Terry also organizes community collaborations, such as dinners with the People's Kitchen Collective and work with local schools. Watch out for MoAD's upcoming look at the Panthers' impact on fashion, music, art, and food—Terry will be serving breakfast. —Alyssa Oursler