Louisiana Eats: Flavors Of The African Diaspora

Sep 21, 2019

On this week’s show, we speak with three James Beard Award-winners to explore the history and culture of African American cooking and learn how African flavors are inspiring new dishes today.

Culinary historian, historical interpreter, and Judaic studies teacher Michael W. Twitty.
Credit Ted Conference / Flickr

We begin with soul food scholar Adrian Miller, who describes his book, Soul Food: The Surprising Story of an American Cuisine, as love-letter to African-American cooks. Since it was first published in 2013, the book has gone on to receive numerous accolades and was awarded a James Beard for reference and scholarship. Within its pages, Adrian presents a refreshing look at one of America’s oldest and most mythologized cuisines. From mac and cheese to red drink, he uncovers the history of soul food and what it means for African American culture and identity.

Next, we hear from Michael W. Twitty. He's a writer, culinary historian, and historical interpreter who explores food through his many identities. He’s an African American whose interest in Jewish culture led him to convert to Judaism in his early 20s.
Michael illustrates for us the connections between African and Judaic food traditions and a cross-cultural spirit he describes as “Kosher soul.”

Finally, author and food activist Bryant Terry discusses the inspiration behind his book, Afro-Vegan. Bryant draws from the diverse flavors of the African diaspora, interpreting them in new and healthy ways.

For more of all things Louisiana Eats, be sure to visit us at PoppyTooker.com.