In this very special edition of Talk:Taste: Evenings at Essex Street Market on Thursday, April 26th, Chef JJ Johnson speaks with Therese Nelson, Founder of Black Culinary History, an organization dedicated to examining the pasts and presents of African American culinary professionals. Their discussion will center around how Black chefs have historically been boxed into a certain type of cooking, and examine how their food can be valued for its creativity and deliciousness at face value.
When Chef JJ Johnson helped open Harlem restaurant The Cecil in 2013, the New York food scene instantly fell in love with the JJ's innovative interpretation of African American food traditions, bringing in flavors from both the African and Asian diasporas. More than just fusion, The Cecil -- and JJ’s cooking -- was groundbreaking in its commitment to redefining Black foodways.
Since then, JJ has completed a stint as chef-in-residence at Chefs Club, where he’s further proved that food cooked by African Americans can be both viable for investors and widely popular with the dining public. His latest cookbook, Between Harlem and Heaven (Flatiron Books) -- co-authored by The Cecil’s Alexander Smalls -- explores the vast impact of African foodways on global cuisine through 100 of the restaurant’s most iconic recipes.
Our agenda for the evening will be as follows:
6:30pm-7pm: Arrival, mingling, and sampling of complementary Essex Street Market snacks
7pm-7:45pm: Discussion with JJ Johnson and Therese Nelson
7:45pm-8pm: Q&A and conclusion
This event is FREE to attend but RSVP is required!
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