Celebrity Chef Blount, founder of Black Rican Vegan, talks food, careers with Newark students

Celebrity Chef Lyana Blount, the founder of Black Rican Vegan, recently gave students at the Newark Vocational High School a taste of plant-based comfort food – and a lesson in entrepreneurship.

The event, hosted by Newark Public Schools, included a lecture for students, an interactive Q&A session, a book signing, and a captivating cooking demonstration for the culinary and hospitality program students.

The event highlighted a fundamental element of the student experience at Newark Vocational High School, emphasizing the importance of work-based learning for aspiring “completers” in the culinary program.

Blount, a culinary sensation originally from the Bronx of African American and Puerto Rican heritage, showed the students how she turned her hobby into a successful business.

Students were provided with a unique opportunity to gain valuable experience through a work-based learning program where they had the privilege to participate in a cooking demonstration utilizing their state-of-the-art kitchen. The hands-on approach is designed to equip Newark Vocational High School students with the skills and knowledge necessary to excel in their future careers, ensuring they are well-prepared for the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.

Roger León, superintendent of the Newark Board of Education, said the event is a way the district can have great impact on careers.

“Newark Vocational High School remains steadfast in its commitment to providing our students with unique learning experiences that prepare them for real-world success,” he said. “Black Rican Vegan Chef Lyana’s contribution exemplifies our dedication to incorporating real-world experiences into our school, underlining our commitment to broadening our students’ horizons.”

Board President Hasani Council agreed.

“The Newark Board of Education is dedicated to creating experiences for students to learn from experts in various fields,” he said. “The collaboration with Chef Lyana is a prime illustration of how such experiences have a life-changing impact on students’ lives.”