Michael W. Twitty
A renowned culinary historian offers a fresh perspective on our most divisive cultural issue, race, in The Cooking Gene: A Journey Through African American Culinary History in the Old South (Amistad Press), an illuminating memoir of Southern cuisine and food culture that traces his ancestry—both black and white—through food, from Africa to America and slavery to freedom. Southern food is integral to the American culinary tradition, yet the question of who "owns" it is one of the most provocative touch points in our ongoing struggles over race. In this unique memoir, culinary historian Michael W. Twitty takes readers to the white-hot center of this fight, tracing the roots of his own family and the charged politics surrounding the origins of soul food, barbecue, and all Southern cuisine.
Michael W. Twitty is a noted culinary and cultural historian and the creator of Afroculinaria, the first blog devoted to African American historic foodways and their legacies. He was the recipient of two James Beard Awards for his book, The Cooking Gene: A Journey through African-American Culinary History in the Old South, and was recently named one of the Root.com' s 100 most influential African Americans under 45.
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