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Black Women Chefs - Houston's Black Girl Tamales

Updated: Mar 26, 2023

Chef Latoya Larkin, Owner of Black Girl Tamales in Houston, TX.

Living Legacy - Women’s History Month

Latyoa Larkin is the owner and Chef of Black Girl Tamales in Houston, TX

Chef Latoya is an African American native of Jasper, Texas, and is a third-generation tamale maker. She learned to make them alongside her grandmother, Rosa Sears, who was taught by a Mexican friend in Southern California. Black Girl Tamales was founded in 2019. During the close of school in the height of Covid 19 Chef Larkin decided to expand her personal Chef service into a full fledged business. Her concept of fusing African American Soul-Food and Caribbean delicacies with the flair of the Mexican tamale has certainly paid off. The creativity of using ingredients from the African Diaspora such as collard greens, oxtails, curry and jerk chicken created a culinary delicacy and is paving the way to a culinary dynasty.

Chef Latoya's diverse career was established by earning Bachelors and Associates Degrees in Culinary Arts at the Art Institute and a Masters Degree from Springfield College, Springfield, MA. In addition, Chef Latoya earned a certificate in Women’s Entrepreneurship from Cornell University, Ithaca, NY.

I had the pleasure of meeting Chef Latoya at this year's James Beard Chef Summit at the University of Houston, where I learned she was a James Beard Foundation Legacy Mentor Advisor for emerging leaders in the culinary industry. In 2022 she became a distinguished member in the inaugural cohort of the Goldman Sachs, One Million Black Women in Business.

During our conversation after the summit, we discovered some common career paths. Chef Latoya was very successful Culinary Education Program Coordinator in Spring ISD, District Chef Trainer Consultant with Walker Quality Services specializing in the School Nutrition Programs in Central Texas.

On February 28th, Chef Latoya’s restaurant, Mango Deli & Cafe at 12012 Wickchester Lane in west Houston was featured on Channel 13 ABC and Black Girl Tamales was honored during half-time of the Houston Rockets game for Black History Month.

Join BWC in celebrating this Chef Diva who is building a living legacy for her and her son Xavier.

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