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About Michael W. Twitty
Michael W. Twitty is a culinary and cultural historian and the creator of www.Afroculinaria.com, the first blog devoted to African American historic foodways and their legacy. He has been honored by the website First We Feast (www.firstwefeast.com) as one of twenty greatest food bloggers of all time, and named one of “Fifty People Changing the South” by Southern Living. He’s also been honored as one of the “Five Cheftavists to Watch” by TakePart.Com. Twitty has appeared on NPR’s The Splendid Table and Morning Edition and has written for the Guardian, Ebony, Local Palate, and the Washington Post. He’s given over 300 talks in the U.S. and abroad, including audiences at the Smithsonian, Yale University, The Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery in England, and the Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival. He was a 2014 Smith Symposium Fellow of the Southern Foodways Alliance and a 2016 TED fellow and speaker, and was recently honored by Taste Talks with their first Culinary Pioneer Award. Twitty’s blog, Afrioculinaria was honored with both the readers’ and editors’ choice awards from Saveur for the best food and culture blog. Twitty is also a Judaics teacher and writes on Jewish cultural issues. He is the first Revolutionary in Residence at Colonial Williamsburg.
Favorite Southern foods: barbecue (beef ribs though not necessarily traditional---all the noms), a decent and proper biscuit, red rice, collard greens--no vinegar!, buttermilk pie, okra soup, country captain, sweet potatoes, etoufee, gumbo, jambalaya.
Diva of Choice: Julia Sugarbaker from "Designing Women" or Whitley Gilbert from "A Different World"
Favorite Expression: Bless yo' heart.
Person Likely to Play Me in a Movie: I really want Idris Elba, but I'm getting Anthony Anderson.
If I had Kids I would name them: (All girls) Portico, Verandah and Lanai... I always thought Zephyr would be a cool name for a son.
Nicknames: The Chocolate Chosen TM, Mr. Kosher Soul
Influences: August Wilson, James Baldwin, Marlon Riggs, Langston Hughes, Maya Angelou, Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, Abraham Joshua Heschel, Roy Lichenstein, Romare Bearden, Joseph Campbell, Robert Graves, Zora Neale Hurston.
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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."
The James Beard award-winning author of the acclaimed The Cooking Gene explores the cultural crossroads of Jewish and African diaspora cuisine and issues of memory, identity, and food.
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.