Erika Council


A panel discussion about the need for diversity in the baking industry.

The first breadmaking machine was invented by Joseph Lee, a son of slaves. So, it’s a bit surprising that today’s bread-making industry presents such a stark lack of diversity. Award-winning author and renowned food historian, Toni Tipton-Martin will lead a frank discussion with well-known Chefs Adrian Lipscombe and Erika Council about the homogenous nature of the industry. What is it about the history and traditions of bread baking that have yielded so little professional diversity? Are the barriers to entry systemic at this point? What will it take to attract more young bread bakers of color? How do we reveal to them the economic viability of the profession, when so few bakers look like them? The distinguished women will share perspectives and insights based on their own pioneering careers in food & beverage. Their opinions are informed by first-hand experience and their vision for the future is enlightening as well as encouraging.

Erika Council is the charismatic food writer, recipe developer, and photographer behind the popular website, Southern Soufflé. It is here the reader is taken through a brilliantly southern-focused epic, with tales of food, love, and freedom. Erika has become a fixture in the southern culinary world with her popular Bomb Biscuit Company in Atlanta GA. Her work has been featured in The New York Times, Saveur, (where she was nominated 2016 Best of the Food Blog Awards for writing), Food and Wine Magazine, The Local Palate Magazine, Atlanta Magazine, Food 52, Complex Magazine, Design Sponge, The Kitchn, Essence Magazine, Huffington Post, and Yahoo.

In 2016 she was invited to be a guest chef for the James Beard Foundations Sunday Supper South, a sold-out event hosted by award-winning chef and restaurateur Anne Quatrano.Every year this event highlights the south's best, up and coming chefs.

She has also developed recipes for brands such as KitchenAid, Reynolds Wrap, Nutella, and many others.

Council has contributed to several cookbooks, Feed the Resistance By Julia Turshen (Chronicle Books), Soul by Todd Richards (Oxmoor House), Sunday Suppers by Cynthia Graubart (Oxmoor House), and is a contributing author of Beyond The Plate ( Prestel Publishing).

A highlight in her repertoire was being featured in the New York Times groundbreaking piece, An American Thanksgiving.

Outside of the kitchen, Erika has become a sought-after voice on the topic of African American food, social justice, and food's impact on the community. One such event is speaking at the Southern Foodways Alliance, the organization that is preserving the foodways of the south. She can also be found at The Atlanta History Center, hosting cooking demos and Sunday Suppers and speaking on the history of African American Cuisine and the social impact food has on communities.

Erika, currently, a resident of Atlanta Georgia, is a native of North Carolina, attributing her passion for food and community to her grandmothers. One of these grandmothers, Mildred (Mama Dip) Council, is a southern cooking icon, award-winning cookbook author, and owner of the famous Mama Dip’s Kitchen Restaurant in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.