Memories of my dear friend Chef Patrick Clark

Patrick Clark March 17, 1955- February 11, 1998 While I have many wonderful memories of my dear friend Patrick Clark, a few great moments do come to mind. Patrick was always willing to help whenever I called upon him to share his talents and expertise. He worked with me on several events for the National Counsel of Negro Women in … Read More

Chef Edna Lewis In Her Own Words

Ms. Lewis gained tremendous accolades for her cookbooks on the pleasures of southern cooking and heritage. Some of her most prized cookbooks included, The Edna Lewis Cookbook, The Taste of Country Cooking, and In Pursuit of Flavor. Chef Edna Lewis’ passion for fresh ingredients and authentic flavors will live on through the work of generations of African American chefs to … Read More

Memories of My Dear Friend Edna Lewis

Edna Lewis April 13, 1916 – February 13, 2006 Today, I found myself reminiscing about the first time I spoke with my dear friend Chef Edna Lewis. At the time of our very first conversation, Ms. Lewis was a few years shy of retirement and was serving as the executive chef at Gage & Tollner in Brooklyn, New York. I … Read More

Oyster and Shrimp Purloo

The Geechee-Gullah Influence Some of the strongest influences on US cuisine came from African slaves, the people who least intended to be here. American food is inconceivable without barbecue in its many variations, all kinds of fritters and a mess of greens. Indeed Africans brought with them important techniques including smoking meats, frying grains and legumes into fritters, boiling leafy … Read More

Hoppin’ John

Hoppin’ John is one of the dishes that Chef Lee exposed me to when I was at the Harrisburgher Hotel in Harrisburg, PA as a young cook in the mid 1960’s. He had learn to make it from a black lady while he working in Charleston South Carolina. He said she was very clear that you should never uncover the … Read More

Robert W. Lee A Legacy To Honor by Chef Joe Randall August 1. 1998

Chef Robert W. Lee January 1, 1911 to November 24, 1999 Giving Honor to God and to the thousands of African-American chefs and cooks who came before me, establishing the very foundation for our great cuisine. Without their mastery and contribution, we would have had no basis to forge upon. Chef Robert W. Lee, is one of those worthy heirs … Read More

Sea Island Smothered Shrimp and Creamy Stone Ground Grits

Shrimp Stock Makes 1/2 Quart 1/8 cup peanut oil 3/4 pound shrimp shells 1 rib celery (coarsely chopped) 1 small carrot (coarsely chopped) 1 small onion (coarsely chopped) 2 cloves garlic (chopped) 1 quart water 1/8 cup dry white wine 1 tablespoon tomato paste 1 sprig parsley 1 sprig thyme 2 each black peppercorns 1 each bay leaf Heat oil … Read More