Race

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Where mealtime is a moment for change

People sitting around tables.
People sitting around tables.
‘ALL’S Dinner,’ a big outdoor table to dine together with Christian citizens, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, and laypeople in Rome, Italy, as an answer against all forms of intolerance and racism in June 2019. Photo: Stefano Montesi /Corbis/Getty Images

We live in a system in which a white cop feels empowered to kneel on a Black man’s neck for nearly 9 minutes and take his life. That system is held up by politicians, officers, and everyday citizens who grew up in homes with a narrow view of America — an incomplete narrative, one that vilifies Black Americans. Those in power don’t learn these behaviors in adulthood; they’re often learned in the dining room or the kitchen, where conversations can lead to stereotyping and mocking those who are different.

The uprisings in response to George Floyd’s murder and the death…


This is what I learned

A grandma sitting in between two young women. They’re all holding up glasses of red liquid with lemon wedges on the rims.
A grandma sitting in between two young women. They’re all holding up glasses of red liquid with lemon wedges on the rims.
From L–R: the author, Grandmother Sharon from North Carolina, and Iska Lupton. Photos: Iska Lupton

Unsure of what to expect beyond burgers and squelchy macaroni cheese, we set off in our tiny Ford Fiesta, two women with a very specific mission: We were in the U.S. from the U.K. to hunt down grandmothers. More specifically, American grandmothers who can cook.

It’s part of our quest to share stories and recipes of matriarchs in the Grand Dishes cookbook, for which Iska Lupton and I have been traveling the world to uncover the culinary secrets of each nation through its grandmothers’ cooking.

Just before the Covid-19 outbreak, the final leg of our mission culminated in a Great…


Even through closed restaurants and a pandemic, he’s pursuing his dream

A portrait of Darius Williams.
A portrait of Darius Williams.
Photos courtesy of Darius Williams

When Darius Williams moved to Atlanta five years ago, he thought he wanted to be the next Food Network star. A boisterous, gay Black chef, Williams’ personality and culinary skills were in his favor. Instead, the food blogger became a social media star on his own, Food Network not included.

Born and raised in Chicago, Williams spent time in New York City before relocating to Atlanta. While opening restaurants in Chicago and Atlanta, Williams also built his public brand on social media.

“I don’t have a book publisher or a book deal, but I do have a community,” Williams said…


Amber Tamm Canty is the up-and-coming farmer-activist who’s determined to make it happen

Photos courtesy of Amber Tamm Canty

Amber Tamm Canty is a farmer of sorts. The better part of her work experience has been in agriculture; she wrote on her site that in the last four years, she “has come to possess knowledge in cannabis, farm education, permaculture, tropical agriculture, agroforestry, urban farming, floral arrangements and lastly the healing powers of the Earth.”

With local agriculture comes activism: Amber wants to connect New Yorkers with the Native American heritage and reclaim land for Black and Brown people. Her goal is rooted in her young self, growing up in Coney Island projects, where she did not have access…


And more required reading

Michael W. Twitty, culinary historian, in Rockville, Maryland. Photo: Washington Post/Getty Images

This is a food site, yet not all of these links have to do with food. I and the Heated team believe that it’s useful and important to use this platform to show support for revolutionary changes around race, equity, fairness, and inclusion, changes that are long overdue.

Here’s the second round of updated links, as well as — as we’ve said since we started Heated narratives, features, opinions, and reported pieces that reflect our values. You can find the first round over here.

June 22, 2020

“I see the news talking a lot about violence. And it disturbs me, because they…


‘We are no longer here to be the token or the diversity quota’

Photo: Clay Williams

Last week, I watched Bon Appétit editors suffer the consequences of their actions. I wasn’t surprised when their moment of reckoning hit — no one was. I was, however, stunned to see the photos sleuthed out by Tammie Teclemariam of Adam Rapoport in brownface. I was sad to see skilled Bengali American chef Sohla El-Waylly is paid a fraction of what her white, dependent peers make, and how then-editor-in-chief Rapoport publicly confused her for author Priya Krishna, an Indian American contributor, before an audience.

My heart sank even further as horror stories from employees and freelancers hit social media, but…


The power of voices

Protestors march near the White House on June 7, 2020. Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

This is a food site, yet not all of these links have to do with food. I and the Heated team believe that it’s useful and important to use this platform to show support for revolutionary changes around race, equity, fairness, and inclusion, changes that are long overdue.

You’ll find weekly updated links here, as well as — as we’ve said since we started Heated narratives, features, opinions, and reported pieces that reflect our values.

June 8, 2020

An essential read from The New Yorker, an interview with Opal Tometi, a Black Lives Matter co-founder: “We have millions of people who have…


What the first cookbook from an African American chef teaches us

Photo courtesy of Historic Maury County

Toni Tipton-Martin’s lauded cookbook Jubilee, named one of the best cookbooks of 2019 by numerous publications, is one of the most significant efforts to share the stories and recipes of the chefs who created and shaped African American cooking — and an American culinary landscape that people from endless backgrounds know and love.

Completed and released in the midst of the Trump presidency, which has resolved to dismantle basic democracy, obfuscate facts and reason, and vilify the millions of minorities who have built, defined, and sustained this country, Jubilee serves as a frustrating yet powerful reminder that this country’s ills…


The show raises profiles of POC while symbolizing an implicitly white Britishness

Photo: Benjamina Ebuehi Instagram

When she first got the message asking if she’d be interested in writing a baking book, Benjamina Ebuehi thought it was a scam.

After reaching the quarterfinals of the “Great British Bake Off” in 2016 (and being defeated at the hands of a fiendishly difficult Tudor-themed baking challenge), she’d approached a few British publishers without success.

“There was just not much interest,” she explained over coffee in a North London branch of social enterprise Luminary Bakery, an initiative providing training and support for women who experienced gender-based violence, and for which Ebuehi serves as an ambassador.

So when Page Street…


The spiced drink parallels America’s fraught history with African Americans

Photo: Yulia Naumenko/Getty Images

Creamy, aromatic eggnog is a staple in American homes during the winter — we consume an estimated 135 million pounds per year, to be exact. Whether served in mugs at holiday parties or paired with whiskey, rum, or brandy, the beverage inevitably makes an appearance on drink menus around Christmastime.

But how the drink’s popularity spiked, and who increased its visibility on a national stage is, like many things, intertwined with America’s fraught history with African Americans.

Food historian Fred Opie of Babson College in Wellesley, Massachusetts, has studied eggnog for years, and he expects dozens of calls about the…

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Food from every angle: From Medium x Mark Bittman

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