B. Smith—who broke down barriers with beauty and determination as a restaurateur, interior designer, model and author, died on February 22—in her Long Island home following a battle with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease, her husband Dan Gasby announced on Facebook. Smith was 70 years old. “Heaven is shining even brighter now that it is graced with B.’s dazzling and unforgettable smile,” Gasby wrote in the post.

Born Barbara Smith on August 24, 1949, the multi-faceted talent who was inducted into the American Chef Corps in 2012 embodied her slogan, “Whatever you do, do it with style,” especially when she advocated for increased Black presence in the culinary world. “African Americans are underrepresented but so are women and many other ethnic groups. You know what I am hearing is that more African Americans are attending cooking school,” Smith told PBS during an interview in 2012. “They just need a greater quantity of opportunities to break into the culinary world. Let’s face it, if the United States can have a Black president there must be room for more African Americans as executive chefs and in other major positions in the hospitality industry.” 

Below, admirers react to Smith’s passing via social media: