Toni Tipton-Martin is an award-winning food and nutrition journalist who is busy building a healthier community through her books, foundation and in her role as Editor in Chief of Cook’s Country Magazine and its television show. She is the recipient of the Julia Child Foundation Award, which is given to an individual (or team) who has made a profound and significant difference in the way America cooks, eats and drinks; is a three-time James Beard Book Award winner; and she has earned the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) Trailblazer Award, its Book of the Year Award, and Member of the Year Award. She appeared as a guest judge on Bravo’s Top Chef, was featured on CBS Sunday Morning’s annual Food Show and in the anthology, Best Food Writing of 2016. She received Notable Mention in The Best American Essays of 2015 and is profiled in Aetna’s 35th Annual African American History Calendar.
Former First Lady Michelle Obama invited Toni to the White House twice for her outreach to help families live healthier lives. In 2014 she earned the Southern Foodways Alliance John Egerton Prize for this work, which she used to host Soul Summit: A Conversation About Race, Identity, Power and Food, an unprecedented 3-day celebration of African American Foodways.
Toni is the author of several important books that celebrate African American cookbook history: Juke Joints, Jazz Clubs and Juice: Cocktails from Two Centuries of African American Cookbooks (Clarkson Potter, Fall 2023); the award-winning Jubilee: Recipes From Two Centuries of African American Cooking (Clarkson Potter), a beautifully-photographed recipe collection that takes African American cooking beyond soul food, and The Jemima Code: Two Centuries of African American Cookbooks (University of Texas), a widely-acclaimed, annotated bibliography that tells the story behind her rare collection. She is a contributor to multiple anthologies: Black Food: Stories, Art & Recipes from Across the African Diaspora (Ten Speed Press); Southern Women: More Than 100 Stories of Innovators, Artists, and Icons (Garden and Gun), America The Great Cookbook: The Food we make for the People we Love (WeldonOwen); Edna Lewis: At the Table with an American Original (University of North Carolina Press); and One Big Table: A Portrait of American Cooking (Simon & Schuster). In 2005, she published an historic reprint of an early 20th century cookbook, The Blue Grass Cook Book, by Minnie C. Fox (University Press of Kentucky). Blue Grass contains the first known photographs of African American cooks and presents a new portrait of a role model working women can respect and learn from today. Toni also is co-author of A Taste of Heritage: New African-American Cuisine (Macmillan) and wrote the chapter on the South for Culinaria: The Food of the United States (Konemann).
In 1991, Toni became the first African American woman to hold the position of food editor at a major daily newspaper, the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Prior to that post, she was the nutrition writer for the Los Angeles Times and a contributing editor to Heart and Soul Magazine (a health and fitness book for African-American women).
Toni has been a guest instructor at Whole Foods Culinary Center, and has appeared on the Cooking Channel’s Foodography and the PBS feature Juneteenth Jamboree. She has been a featured speaker at the Library of Congress, Duke University, the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill and Charlotte; Austin History Center; the Longone Center for American Culinary Research, William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan; Roger Smith Cookbook Conference; Foodways Texas; Culinary Historians of Southern California; International Association of Culinary Professionals; Les Dames D’Escoffier; Webster College; Prairie View A&M University; Women Chefs and Restaurateurs; the College of Charleston; Mississippi University for Women; and Austin Foodways. She has shared her passion for cooks and the community as a freelance writer for Epicurious, The Local Palate, UNC Wilmington’s Ecotone Journal, the Austin Chronicle, Edible Austin Magazine, Texas Co-op Magazine, Gastronomica The Journal of Food and Culture, and Cooking Light Magazine.
In 2008, after 30 years teaching cooking in the media and demonstrations, Toni founded The SANDE Youth Project as a grassroots outreach to improve the lives of vulnerable families. The 501(c)(3) not-for-profit is dedicated to combating childhood hunger, obesity and disease by promoting the connection between cultural heritage, cooking, and wellness. Through community partnerships with universities, private and public entities, including Oldways Preservation Trust, the City of Austin, Edible Austin Magazine, and others, Toni’s foundation has presented two community events, Soul Summit: A Conversation About Race, Identity, Power and Food and the Children’s Picnic A Real Food Fair.
Toni is a member of the Oldways African Heritage Diet Pyramid Advisory Committee, Les Dames D’Escoffier Washington, D.C. Chapter, and Jack and Jill of America, Inc. She is a co-founder and former president of Southern Foodways Alliance and Foodways Texas. Toni is a graduate of the University of Southern California School of Journalism. She and her husband are restoring a 19th Century rowhouse, one of the “Painted Ladies” in Baltimore’s historic Charles Village. She is the mother of four.