Tonya Thomas


Years of Participation


Chef Tonya Thomas is a chef and entrepreneur from Baltimore, MD who has always had a passion for when food, family, and community meets culture and tradition. Tonya has been in the industry for over 25 years, and alongside her husband, Chef David Thomas, operated a catering company and opened several restaurants, including the nationally recognized, award-winning Herb & Soul Gastro Café and Ida B’s Table. In 2020, Tonya and David teamed up with long-time friends Floyd and Linda Taliaferro to establish H3irloom Food Group. Today, the 100% Black-owned company’s portfolio includes ticketed dinner experiences, catering, pop-ups, sustainable farming initiatives, and the award-winning H3 product line, all working together to uplift the Black food narrative and provide a deeply personal approach to the Black food experience that’s rooted in history and culture. Playing a critical role in all of H3irloom’s culinary endeavors, Tonya is the principal of Nostalgia Baking Company, a pop-up concept inspired by her late grandmother and great-grandmother's legacy of baking and the strong spirit instilled in her as a child. Infusing modern savory and sweet techniques into classic baked goods, Tonya has created a cult following with her Sweet Potato Sticky Bun Biscuit and vegan-friendly Honey Bun Biscuit.