Chefs with Issues is a platform for chefs, writers and farmers we love, fired up for causes about which they're passionate. Michael W. Twitty is a culinary historian, living history interpreter and Jewish educator from the Washington D.C. area. He blogs at Afroculinaria.com and thecookinggene.com. As the originator of the Cooking Gene Project, he seeks to trace his ancestry through food.
Edward Booker, Hattie Bellamy and Washington Twitty didn’t know what an organic farm was, but nearly everything they ate was organic. They enjoyed wild caught, sustainable fish; they were no strangers to free range chickens, and they ate with the seasons with almost nothing originating more than a mile or two away from their cabin door. They had gardens, composted, and ate no processed foods. Their food was fairly simple, often meatless; and it was a fusion cuisine, with ingredients drawn from five continents.
They were not culinary revolutionaries living out of the foodie playbook - they were three enslaved individuals living among the over 4 million held in bondage before the Civil War, and they were my ancestors.
In the upcoming months I will return to the fields, forests and waterways of the Old South in search of my culinary version of Roots, tracing my family tree through food from Africa to America and from slavery to freedom. The project is called The Cooking Gene: Southern Discomfort Tour.
Chefs with Issues is a platform for chefs and farmers we love, fired up for causes about which they're passionate. Virginia Willis, a graduate of L'Academie de Cuisine and Ecole de Cuisine LaVarenne, is the author of "Bon Appétit, Y’all" and "Basic to Brilliant, Y'all."
I opened up a veritable bucket of bait, not a mere can of worms, back in January with my blog post titled "Wicked Tuna: A Deal with the Devil."
"Wicked Tuna" is a reality series that premiered April 1 on the National Geographic Channel. It follows the lives of bluefin tuna fishermen in Gloucester, Massachusetts, and is produced by the same folks that produce the hit TV shows "Dirty Jobs" and "Swamp Loggers."
By many accounts, including the National Geographic website, bluefin tuna are overfished. This is where I find a huge disconnect with the National Geographic channel hosting a show about Atlantic bluefin tuna fishing.
Chefs with Issues is a platform for chefs and farmers we love, fired up for causes about which they're passionate. Chef John Ash serves on the Board of Advisors of Seafood Watch, an educational initiative for sustainable seafood by the Monterey Bay Aquarium. He recently hosted a panel discussion about seafood sustainability as a practice. Among the participants were Chef Bun Lai, the Monterey Bay Aquarium Sustainability Leader of the Year, and Yousef Ghalaini, executive chef of New York’s sustainable seafood restaurant Imperial No. Nine.
Recently, nearly 30 thought leaders in the seafood, restaurant and sustainability worlds came together to have a conversation about how chefs can embrace seafood sustainability in a greater, more mainstream way.
“Thought for Food: A Discussion on Sustainable Seafood” was facilitated by James Beard award-winning chef and author John Ash, widely respected as a sustainability pioneer. Participants came from a variety of backgrounds: chefs, NGO leaders, journalists and other members of the food industry vanguard.
Chefs with Issues is a platform for chefs and farmers we love, fired up for causes about which they're passionate. Hugh Acheson is the chef/partner of Five & Ten and The National in Athens, Georgia and Empire State South in Atlanta, Georgia as well as a judge on the current season on Top Chef, and author of "A New Turn in the South: Southern Flavors Reinvented for Your Kitchen." He has a very famous unibrow.
If you search "Paula Deen" on the Google, these are some of the search suggestions that appear: riding things, recipes, furniture, cookware, meatloaf, and diabetes. I strongly recommend researching the first and last on that list because both point to the decline of Western civilization.
Let me preface this with the wish that this piece not be about maligning a personality or calling out specific dishes in a repertoire. Hopefully it is about furthering a constructive discussion to rejoice in a better Southern food.
Southern food did not make the South unhealthy, rather a broken arrow of cookery did, one that is ultra-processed, trans fat laden, lard fried, and massively caloric. That’s not how I eat and I eat Southern food pretty much every day of my life.
Drew Robinson is the pitmaster at Jim ‘N Nick’s Bar-B-Q. He previously wrote about why barbecue matters.
My friend John Egerton told me once that sometimes when people have lost a loved one or are in despair all you can do is take them a bowl of potato salad and tell them you’re sorry.
He went on to say, emphatically, that there is great power in that sort of action. John spoke specifically about Southern foodways at that moment, but there was a universal truth in his message. I know from personal experience on the receiving end that is true and it is even more powerful when that compassion is delivered in numbers.
While the United Nations convenes for a two day high-level meeting to discuss ways to curb the death toll from non-communicable diseases a celebrity chef is asking the General Assembly to focus their attentions on one issue in particular: obesity.
In an open letter to the U.N.'s Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, celebrity chef, television personality and healthy food activist Jamie Oliver pleads with the group to recognize the global impact of the obesity epidemic and take concrete measures to educate the public about healthier cooking and eating.
Food says so much about where you’ve come from, where you’ve decided to go, and the lessons you’ve learned. It’s geography, politics, tradition, belief and so much more. World-renowned chef, author and Emmy winning television personality Anthony Bourdain visits Los Angeles' Koreatown in the next episode of "Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown," airing Sunday, April 21, at 9 p.m. ET. Follow the show on Twitter and Facebook. This story ran in 2011, and we're sharing it again as Bourdain explores the role of food in Asian-American identity.
Sundays are for Dim Sum. While the rest of America goes to church, Sunday School, or NFL games, you can find Chinese people eating Cantonese food. As a kid, there were a lot of Chinese traditions I couldn’t get into, but Dim Sum and Johnnie Walker were okay in my book. We’d wake up, put on our hand-me-down Polo shirts, and as Dad did his best Bee Gees on the Karaoke machine, we got ready for Dim Sum.
Live from the Aspen Food & Wine Festival - chef and activist founder Michel Nischan speaks about how his own family's health crisis spurred him to take action toward a healthier food system and work toward getting affordable, fresh food to the people who need it most.
Learn more about Nischan's work with Wholesome Wave and Mariners Match
Chefs with Issues is a platform for chefs and farmers we love, fired up for causes about which they're passionate. David Kinch is the chef and proprietor of the two- Michelin star Manresa Restaurant in Los Gatos, California. He is also a partner with Cynthia Sandberg in the biodynamic and organic Love Apple Farm - the exclusive kitchen-garden for Manresa.
With the terrible, heartbreaking tragedy and aftermath that has hit Japan, it is easy to overlook the country’s restaurant and hospitality industry and the devastating hit it has taken.
But the road to recovery will also include a resumption of travel and tourism and a return of a new sense of normalcy for the Japanese people as they get back to their lives, food and restaurant culture.
And, what a culinary culture it is.
Japan has always seemed a bit of a mystery, a final frontier to many who travel the world looking for great restaurants and cuisine. For Western cooks, it has always been a tough nut to crack.
Last month, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg told the 847 friends on his private Facebook page that he had "just killed a pig and a goat" - to eat.
Horrifying? Why? asks Dan Barber, chef and co-owner of the farm-to-table restaurant Blue Hill in New York City and Blue Hill at Stone Barns in Pocantico Hills, New York. That Zuckerberg, the 27-year-old Internet billionaire, has made killing any meat he eats this year's personal goal is "an incontestably moral act," Barber says. He's slaughtered animals for meat himself. "I do think it's important for anyone who wants to be conscious of their food and where it comes from," he says.