Lokelani Alabanza is the author of Cherry Street: An Ice Cream Saloon Cookbook which includes 100 recipes that celebrate Black culinary history and its unsung heroes – with an emphasis on Southern flavors and their history. Lokelani creates beautiful flavors that spur the imagination while educating consumers about African American culinary history. She has been featured in Bon Appetit, Milk Street Radio, Wirecutter, Food52, CherryBombe Magazine, NPR, Oxford American, and The Sewanee Review.
Lokelani’s professional culinary journey started in the United States, at the New England Culinary Institute. From there, her love of food has taken her around the world. From her first kitchen job in Denmark to her time working as a private chef in Japan, her travels have expanded her palate and refined her ability to create incredible food.
It was in Los Angeles, under the tutelage of renowned pastry chef Elizabeth Belkind, that Loke’s passion for pastry cooking was ignited. There, she worked with Dahlia Narvaez and Nancy Silverton at the now-shuttered James Beard award-winning restaurant Campanile, before landing in Nashville, as Culinary Director for Hattie Jane’s Creamery. Lokelani’s time there grew both her passion for ice cream, expanded her experience (while at Hattie Jane’s, she created over 300 flavors), and her love of integrating nostalgia into her cooking. Today, she creates beautiful flavors that spur the imagination while educating consumers about African-American culinary history.
Lokelani is excited to share her view of the world through SATURATED, her own brand of plant-based, hemp-derived CBD ice cream. Her upcoming book 89 N. Cherry Street: An Ice Cream Saloon Cookbook is a personal narrative that contains 100 recipes with a brief history on African American ice cream makers.