TikTok's amazing BlackForager takes home prestigious food award!
Columbus, Ohio - TikTok isn’t just for pop stars and weird challenges. It’s also got culture, style, and especially food – and one user has won just about the most prestigious award a socially conscious foodie can win!
TikToker Alexis Nikole Nelson has been honored with a James Beard Award, which aims "to recognize exceptional talent and achievement in the culinary arts, hospitality, media, and broader food system, as well as a demonstrated commitment to racial and gender equity, community, sustainability, and a culture where all can thrive," according to the foundation's website.
Nelson, who is better known as BlackForager and was presented with the award on Saturday, definitely checks all those boxes.
She is a forager – that's someone who searches for, harvests, cooks, and eats things that most people wouldn't even recognize as food. But her content goes far beyond just gathering and preparing ingredients.
From lilacs to the dust from cattails, the TikToker has proved that our backyards can be supermarkets. And she'll do it with an enthusiasm that's sure to make you smile and start looking at the plants you see differently.
She's been profiled by the New York Times, and also previously told NPR all about the way foraging has given her the opportunity to connect with African American and Indigenous food traditions that many have been prevented or discouraged from sustaining.
She's got some 3.2 million followers and it’s easy to see why her content goes viral regularly.
The 30-year-old shared the news of her win in her latest TikTok, but only as a dessert at the end of another clip of her doing what she does best: introducing us to a plant and how to snack on it in style.
Specially, it's the hot pink Fuchsia plant's turn to be featured. Aleixis, who jokes that she accidentally coordinated her outfit with the flower, giddily tries the fruit that it produces, before speeding through a thank you to her fans: "Also I won a James Beard Award, which is absolutely crazy, and it's all because of you guys!"
As always, she ends the video with her tagline, "Happy snacking, don't die!"
There's plenty more where that came from on Alexis' account.
Cover photo: Collage: Screenshot/TikTok/alexisnikole