WASHINGTON (WDVM) — Representation is important. When people of color are on television, as news anchors, actors or even hosting entertainment shows, it speaks volumes. One District woman is making history in representation, as the first Afro-Latina television chef.

Bren Herrera is the host of Culture Kitchen, which is a cooking and lifestyle show that airs on Cleo T.V. She said, “Being the first Afro-Latina to have a cooking show and lifestyle show on a network is such an honor, but such a great responsibility as well because it can not just stop here.” Herrera wants to make sure she not only represents for women of color but paves the way for more women like her to host their own shows.

In taking that responsibility to heart, Herrera uses her show to educate people on her culture. “It’s not just about entertainment. You tune in to any of these cooking shows because you want to be entertained, but it’s also really important to me to educate and really introduce the audience to who we are as people of color, people from the Caribbean, people with the African diaspora as our roots,” she said.

“It is about celebrating the culture, my culture, especially through food,” Herrera explained. As a Cuban-Jamaican, Herrera focused season one on dishes that represented who she is. She said, “I really wanted people to see that people of color, Black people, Latinos are not monolithic.”

“We represent so many shades, so many different ways and cultures and traditions, and at the end of the day, we can pull from this one thing in common and that’s food,” Herrera said. She uses the show to sprinkle in new vocabulary and facts about the dishes and cultures she is making dishes from. “When I bring in these other cultures or other ingredients and flavors into my kitchen, it’s always a way to show you that the world is so big and we all look different. We all vibe differently, but we can all vibe together over this one dish,” she said.

Herrera recognizes that one T.V. show will not solve every issue, but she hopes it can open some eyes and start meaningful conversations. She said, “(Food) is beautiful in that way because it has that tremendous power that few things have to bring people together, keep us together and kind of remember that at the end of the day life is about spending it with people you love and vice versa.”

Herrera starts filming the second season of Culture Kitchen in the next few weeks and it is slated to air in the late spring or early summer. The second season will focus on Jamaican foods and other Caribbean islands.