It would take more time than we’ve got to list all of Toni Tipton-Martin’s accomplishments as a food writer, organizer, educator, and historian. We’ll just say that she’s one of the most studied and influential voices in food today. Her life’s work and the organizations she has helped found, including Southern Foodways Alliance, have helped build structural connections between Black Americans and their rich food history. At a moment when listening to and amplifying Black voices is critical for learning, healing, and enacting real change, we are honored to welcome Toni Tipton-Martin as our guest in the latest edition of Chowhound’s Table Talk.
Toni recently published a recipe compendium and historical reference entitled “Jubilee: Recipes from Two Centuries in African American Cooking.” In this book, as she has done with others, the James-Beard-book-award-winning author sources from a collection of over 400 pieces of African American food writing including cookbooks and food journals—many of which had been largely lost to time. In doing so, she’s able to tell a more complete story of Black foodways, recipes, and cooking culture: how they have persisted against forces of oppression and influenced modern American food as we know it.
It’s likely Toni will have you thinking differently about the arc and footprint of African American food, as she did when she shared her thoughts along with a pineapple upside-down cake recipe from “Jubilee” with us earlier in the year (find the link below).
“Most of the food that we talk about as African American is soul food and the food of survival from the plantations and cabins of enslavement,” she explains. “We don’t talk about the middle and upper-class African Americans who were entrepreneurs and classically trained chefs, people who were knowledgeable and proficient in their work.”
In addition to her work as an educator on Black food culture, Toni has generated awareness on a mass scale the importance of healthy eating, most notably within at-risk and under-funded Black and brown communities.
Whether on technique or ingredients for perfecting a classic soul food dish or, more broadly, about the significance and historical context of Black food and her quest for food justice in America, we invite you to plumb the depths of Toni’s expertise in the field. Over the next two weeks, leave your questions for Toni Tipton-Martin in the comments below.
More with Tony Tipton-Martin on Chowhound: https://www.chowhound.com/food-news/2...
For other editions of Table Talk go here: https://www.chowhound.com/tag/table-talk.
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