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Celebrating Black History Month 2024

From Slavery To The White House .....


In the United States of America, every February we celebrate black history month. 2024's theme is from slavery to the white house. Black Americans have always been the thread that held the fabric of our great nation together. 


This month, I encourage everyone from all walks of life to celebrate and educate the history of your fellow Americans. This history is not just about black Americans, for black Americans, but all Americans.


My blog posts this month will be featuring African and Black American Cuisine.-GTG

In this post, I wanted to acknowledge two wonderful black American chefs who changed the trajectory of American cuisine, while fighting for Civil rights. The first one who comes to mind is a woman by the name of Zephyr Wright, the personal chef for President Lyndon B. Johnson. In 1942 she began working for the Johnson household and ended up staying until his presidency in 1969.



While Johnson was in Congress his home quickly became popular because of his food. Other politicians visited regularly and built strong bonds over Chef Wright's Chile Con Queso and Peach Cobbler. Johnson's wife, Lady Bird Johnson wrote, "I have yet to find a great Chef whose desserts I like as well as Zephyr's."


Another great Chef that comes to mind is Abby Fisher, A culinary master known for her southern cuisine, particularly her pickles in preserves. In 1880, after winning a bronze medal at a fair in San Francisco, the judges said, "Her pickles and sauces have a piquancy and flavor seldom equaled, and when once tasted, not soon forgotten." She was one of the first black cookbook authors.




Her cookbook was originally Published in 1881, then it was reprinted in 1995. This Chef learned her culinary skills in plantation kitchens in the South, where she learned her distinctive cooking style. After the Civil War, she relocated to San Francisco and opened a Preserve Business. 


These pioneers changed the culinary world. They are the unsung heroes that we seldom know their names, but their dishes have been replicated, upgraded, and made into staples. This month, my promise is to continue to shine a spotlight on the unsung heroes in the culinary field, just as James Beard has done. 


Happy Black History Month Everyone !

 


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