We are in the midst of a true awakening. While society has come a long way, there is still so much more work to be done and this is just the tip of the iceberg. The events that have unfolded over the past few weeks have really inspired deep self-reflection on how I can not only support people of colour but how I can get educated and make changes in my own daily life that are anti-racist. As we’ve seen on social media, it’s not enough to be not racist, we have to be anti-racist and we have to say it loud.
This revolution is far from over and to help continue the conversation and continue this movement, I’m sharing 7 cookbooks from black authors that should already be on your bookshelf.
Carla Hall’s Soul Food – Carla Hall
Legendary chef Carla Hall is here to show us that soul food isn’t just barbecue and mac & cheese but it’s a cuisine that’s filled with unique flavours and techniques using farm-fresh ingredients. Carla shows us in her book how soul food can be traced back to its African and Caribbean roots through dishes like Caribbean Smothered Chicken, Ghanaian Peanut Beef Stew, and desserts like Sweet Potato Pudding.
Jubilee – Toni Tipton-Martin
Another cookbook that shows us soul-food goes beyond classic Southern food is Jubilee by celebrated author Toni Tipton-Martin who also brought us The Jemima Code which is a history of three centuries worth of African-American cookbooks. Jubilee is the result of those recipes being adapted for our modern kitchens. It’s the folks who created this diverse cuisine that has shaped American food as we’ve come to know it, so we owe them and Toni a huge thank you.
Soul – Todd Richards
If you’re looking for elevated soul food, then Soul by Todd Richards is the cookbook for you. In addition to its stunning cover and food photography, Soul is filled with recipes that reinvent traditional soul food dishes like a classic pot of collard greens with its recipe for Collard Green Ramen. What’s inspiring about this cookbook is that Richards takes back racist stereotypes like watermelon and he uses it anyway which gives it a new power.
Vegetable Kingdom – Bryant Terry
If veggies are your jam, then make sure you get yourself a copy of Vegetable Kingdom STAT. This book tells you everything you need to know about flavourful vegan cooking with recipes like Barbecued Carrots with Slow-Cooked White Beans, Millet Roux Mushroom Gumbo, and Citrus & Garlic-Herb-Braised Fennel. One thing (of many) that’s great about this book is that the recipes don’t hide behind any meat substitutes that are often found in other vegan cookbooks.
The Taste Of Country Cooking – Edna Lewis
If you’re unfamiliar with the name Edna Lewis, stop what you’re doing and give her a quick Google search then come back here. Edna’s book The Taste of Country Cooking was first released in 1976 when being a woman, let alone a black woman, in the food world, meant the odds were stacked against her, to say the least. The book is organized by the four seasons and Edna shares how her own family would prepare and eat.
Black Girl Baking – Jerrelle Guy
Crazy for desserts? Me too and that’s why the next cookbook I’m buying will be Black Girl Baking by Jerrelle Guy. These desserts have a soul food twist that I’m so here for because growing up I spent a lot of time in Atlanta, Georgia. Expect to swoon over tasty treats like Brown Sugar Plantain Galette, Corn and Serrano Soufflé, Strawberry Butter Rose Buns, and Sticky Date Sheet Cake.
Cooking Solo: The Fun Of Cooking For Yourself – Klancy Miller
Is it just me or is cooking for one like the hardest thing ever? Clearly, Klancy agrees with me and I’m so thankful a book like hers exists to help me out. This book won’t leave you guessing on cooking times or being stuck with container after container of leftovers and it’ll show you all the fun you can have! If you’ve just moved into your own place, or know someone who has, then this is a brilliant book to add to your cookbook collection.