Samah Dada / Dada Eats

Illustration by Matt Chessco

    Samah Dada fell in love with food as a high schooler. Originally from California, she spent a portion of her teenage years living in London, where she was exposed to a diverse dining scene that shaped her palate and turned her into a full-blown foodie. Unlike most creators, Dada forged a fairly traditional path through the entertainment industry that later led to the more nontraditional title of food influencer. After graduating from UC–Berkeley in 2015, she joined NBC’s coveted Page Program and from there began working as a production assistant on the Today show. While navigating the frenetic schedule of the job, Dada found solace and community through cooking and sharing her recipes on her blog, Dada Eats. Producers at Today took notice, especially of the following her work had garnered, and asked the then food blogger if she’d like to appear on the show. Now, Dada has a regular segment on Today called #Cooking, and hosts a digital series by the same name that is available to stream on Peacock.

    But Dada isn’t all about being in front of the camera. She’s hustling with several on- and offline projects: On social media and her website, she shares her recipes, restaurant recommendations, and mouthwatering food photos; in June 2021, she published her debut cookbook, Dada Eats: Love to Cook It. The book features 100 healthy vegetarian recipes that tap into the current plant-based zeitgeist without sacrificing flavor, and speak to the author’s personal journey with cooking.