Historian Tells Students About Black Chefs in Early America

Culinary historian Michael W. Twitty looked at the lives of colonial and antebellum-era African-American cooks during a lecture at the Hyde Park campus in January attended by more than 100 students and members of the public. Michael W. TwittyHe explained how slaves in plantation kitchens transformed the techniques and flavors of West and Central African cuisines into the Western food culture and tradition with which we are familiar.

Twitty is a scholar focusing on historic African-American food and folk culture. He recently spoke at the MAD3 Symposium in Copenhagen regarding culinary injustice. His television appearances include Bizarre Foods America with Andrew Zimmern and the PBS documentary Many Rivers to Cross with Dr. Henry Louis Gates and he was recognized among “The 20 Greatest (American) Food Bloggers of All Time” by First We Feast.

The presentation was part of the Dooley Lecture Series, which brings food industry leaders, as well as experts on international relations and other interesting luminaries, to the CIA. It is named for Carroll F. Dooley, the first director of the college’s food preparation division in 1946. His daughter, Patricia Dooley Fortenbaugh, has been funding the series since its inception in 2002.

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