Chef Therese Nelson led a conversation about Black culinary heritage and the uses of culinary heritage as fertile literary ground. She talked about recipes as an heirloom and worked through crafting a new kind of narrative recipe framework that allows for more creativity and historical context in food writing.
Therese Nelson is a chef with over 20 years of professional experience. A writer and culinary historian focusing her work on Black identity in American gastronomy, she founded BlackCulinaryHistory.com in 2008 as a way to connect chefs of color to preserve Black heritage throughout the African Atlantic culinary diaspora.
“Girls Write Now is an extraordinary organization. To conceive of a space that offers young women a practical source of tangible inspiration while making room for them to develop robust aspiration is the kind of work that changes the world. I’m in community with Girls Write Now because I know that writers have the power to define the times in which they live and I want to be part of supporting an organization charged with arming young writers with the tools they’ll need to be worthy of that responsibility.”
GLIMPSE INTO OUR EVENT
Share a dish that you love to make, love to eat, or reminds you of someone you love! Think of how you would share that ‘recipe’ with someone else. Keep in mind your ‘recipe’ can take any format or style.
PROMPT: VIBRATIONAL COOKING
Knowing what you know now, rewrite the recipe for the dish you shared earlier using vibrations, feelings, and/or your natural instinct to reveal the story in the dish.
- High On the Hog by Dr. Jessica B. Harris
- Listen to Dr. Harris’ podcast, My Welcome Table, on Heritage Radio
- Vibration Cooking or the Travel Notes of a Geechee Girl by Vertamae Smart Grosvenor
- Watch this excerpt of an interview with Vertamae Smart Grosvenor
- The Jemima Code and Jubilee by Toni Tipton Martin
- Read Therese Nelson’s article on Toni Tipton Martin, “She Rewrote the History of American Cooking”
- Support and uplight the work of Indigo House
- Dr. Leni Sorensen is a culinary historian who uses her farm, Indigo House, as her historical culinary test kitchen working through indigenous and heritage growing practices and culinary techniques. She primarily focuses on early American foodways and most notably, her work at Monticello unearthed much of what we know about Black life there. Indigo House is a pilgrimage for anyone interested in American foodways and her newsletter as well as opportunities to support her scholarship can be found via the website above.