ABOUT MICHAEL W. TWITTY
Michael W. Twitty is a recognized culinary historian and independent scholar focusing on historic African American food and folk culture and culinary traditions of historic Africa and her Diaspora. He is a living history interpreter and historic chef, one of the few recognized international experts of his craft—the re-construction of early Southern cuisine as prepared by enslaved African American cooks for tables high and low—from heirloom seeds and heritage breed animals to fish, game, and foraged plant foods to historic cooking methods to the table.
Michael founded www.Afroculinaria.com, the first website/blog devoted to the preservation of historic African American foods and foodways. He has conducted over four hundred classes and workshops, written curricula and educational programs, giving lectures and performed cooking demonstrations for groups including the Smithsonian Institution, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, Carnegie-Mellon, Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, Library of Congress, the Association for the Study of Food and Society, and Oxford University’s Symposium on Food and Cookery. He has been profiled in the Washington Post and Washington Prost Magazine, the New York Times, Grist, PittsburghPost-Gazette, Cuisine Noir, Baltimore Sun, Chicago Tribune, Jet Magazine, Ebony.com, and other periodicals. He has also been interviewed multiple times on NPR including 0n acclaimed food program, The Splendid Table, and Poppy Tooker’s Louisiana Eats.
In 2013, he made several major appearances on television connected to his work including Bizarre Foods America with Andrew Zimmern, PBS’ Time Team America, and Many Rivers to Cross with Dr. Henry Louis Gates. Michael was one of 20 people selected globally as a 2016 TED Fellow (you can hear his talk here).
His book, The Cooking Gene, won two James Beard Awards in 2018 for Food Writing and Best Book and his piece in Bon Apetit, I Had Never Eaten in Ghana Before. But My Ancestors Had was nominated for a 2019 James Beard Award and was selected to be included in The Best American Food Writing 2019. In 2020, The Cooking Gene was named #2 on Book Authority’s list of the Top 60 food books of all time. Michael’s next book, Kosher Soul, is available here.
In Koshersoul, Michael W. Twitty considers the marriage of two of the most distinctive culinary cultures in the world today: the foods and traditions of the African Atlantic and the global Jewish diaspora. To Twitty, the creation of African-Jewish cooking is a conversation of migrations and a dialogue of diasporas offering a rich background for inventive recipes and the people who create them.
The question that most intrigues him is not just who makes the food, but how the food makes the people. Jews of Color are not outliers, Twitty contends, but significant and meaningful cultural creators in both Black and Jewish civilizations. Koshersoul also explores how food has shaped the journeys of numerous cooks, including Twitty’s own passage to and within Judaism.
As intimate, thought-provoking, and profound as The Cooking Gene, this remarkable book teases the senses as it offers sustenance for the soul.
Koshersoul includes 48-50 recipes.
ISBN 10: 0062891758
On Sale: August 9, 2022
Pages: 400 pages
List Price: $28.99
BISAC1: COOKING: History
BISAC2: COOKING: Regional & Ethnic / Jewish & Kosher
BISAC3: COOKING: Essays & Narratives
The Cooking Gene
A renowned culinary historian offers a fresh perspective on our most divisive cultural issue, race, in this 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.
- ISBN: 9780062379290
- ISBN 10: 0062379291
- Imprint: Amistad
- On Sale: 08/01/2017
- Pages: 464
- List Price: 28.99 USD
- BISAC1: COOKING / History
- BISAC2: COOKING / Regional & Ethnic / American / Southern States
Among the staple foods most welcomed on southern tables—and on tables around the world—rice is without question the most versatile. As Michael W. Twitty observes, depending on regional tastes, rice may be enjoyed at breakfast, lunch, and dinner; as main dish, side dish, and snack; in dishes savory and sweet. Filling and delicious, rice comes in numerous botanical varieties and offers a vast range of scents, tastes, and textures depending on how it is cooked. In some dishes, it is crunchingly crispy; in others, soothingly smooth; in still others, somewhere right in between. Commingled or paired with other foods, rice is indispensable to the foodways of the South.
As Twitty’s fifty-one recipes deliciously demonstrate, rice stars in Creole, Acadian, soul food, Low Country, and Gulf Coast kitchens, as well as in the kitchens of cooks from around the world who are now at home in the South. Exploring rice’s culinary history and African diasporic identity, Twitty shows how to make the southern classics as well as international dishes—everything from Savannah Rice Waffles to Ghanaian Crab Stew. As Twitty gratefully sums up, “Rice connects me to every other person, southern and global, who is nourished by rice’s traditions and customs.”
Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
Publication date: 02/07/2021
Series: Savor the South Cookbooks
List Price: $21.00