What Ya Got Cookin'?: Historian Michael Twitty on the Black Roots of American Cusine | WYPR

What Ya Got Cookin'?: Historian Michael Twitty on the Black Roots of American Cusine

Feb 13, 2018

Photo: Afroculinaria.com

On this edition of What Ya Got Cookin'?, Midday's regular series on cuisine, we speak with Culinary Historian Michael Twitty.  His new book is called “The Cooking Gene: A Journey through African American Culinary History in the Old South.” and is part personal memoir, part history, and part cook book.  It’s a startling and poignant chronicle of how people held in bondage, with little to nothing of their own, created a culinary tradition and a lasting cultural identity, and how the author came to understand his own identity by studying the ways in which his ancestors cooked.  He joins us from the studios of NPR in Washington.

Chef David K. Thomas joins our conversation as well.   He is the executive chef at Baltimore’s modern soul food restaurant, Ida B’s Table, named for Ida B. Wells, the famous African American journalist and activist who was born just a couple of years before the Civil War.  

You can learn more about Michael Twitty, and his work as a culinary historian on his blog, Afroculinaria.com