The On My Mind series, in partnership with the Georgia Center for the Book explores the food history of the Gullah Geechee.
Join us for the first event in our spring virtual On My Mind series, in partnership with the Georgia Center for the Book. We are welcoming cookbook authors from both sides of the border: Kevin Mitchell of South Carolina (Taste the State: South Carolina's Signature Foods, Recipes, and Their Stories) and Matthew Raiford of Georgia (Bress 'n' Nyam: Gullah Geechee Recipes from a Sixth-Generation Farmer). These cookbooks go beyond providing recipes to give us a taste of the history and culture of these regions.
This virtual event is free and open to the public, but you must register on Eventbrite to receive the link to the Zoom webinar.
Taste the State: South Carolina's Signature Foods, Recipes, and Their Stories is a vivid cultural history of South Carolina's most distinctive ingredients and signature dishes. From the influence of 1920s fashion on asparagus growers to an heirloom watermelon lost and found, Taste the State abounds with surprising stories from South Carolina's singularly rich food tradition. Here, Kevin Mitchell and David S. Shields present engaging profiles of eighty-two of the state's most distinctive ingredients, such as Carolina Gold rice, Sea Island White Flint corn, and the cone-shaped Charleston Wakefield cabbage, and signature dishes, such as shrimp and grits, chicken bog, and Frogmore Stew. Taste the State presents the cultural histories of native ingredients and showcases the evolution of the dishes and the variety of preparations that have emerged.
Kevin Mitchell is the first African American chef instructor at the Culinary Institute of Charleston in South Carolina. He has culinary arts degrees in occupational studies and management from the Culinary Institute of America and a master's degree in southern studies from the University of Mississippi, where he studied Southern foodways, the preservation of Southern ingredients, and the history of African Americans in the culinary arts. In 2020 Mitchell was named a South Carolina Chef Ambassador.
Bress 'n' Nyam: Gullah Geechee Recipes from a Sixth-Generation Farmer contains more than 100 heirloom recipes from a dynamic chef and farmer working the lands of his great-great-great grandfather. From Hot Buttermilk Biscuits and Sweet Potato Pie to Salmon Cakes on Pepper Rice and Gullah Fish Stew, Gullah Geechee food is an essential cuisine of American history. It is the culinary representation of the ocean, rivers, and rich fertile loam in and around the coastal South. From the Carolinas to Georgia and Florida, this is where descendants of enslaved Africans came together to make extraordinary food, speaking the African Creole language called Gullah Geechee. In this groundbreaking and beautiful cookbook, Matthew Raiford pays homage to this cuisine that nurtured his family for seven generations. In 2010, Raiford’s Nana handed over the deed to the family farm to him and his sister, and Raiford rose to the occasion, nurturing the farm that his great-great-great grandfather, a freed slave, purchased in 1874. In this collection of heritage and updated recipes, he traces a history of community and family brought together by food.
Matthew Raiford was named a 2018 James Beard Award semifinalist and has been featured in the New York Times, Southern Living, and more.