the bitter southerner podcast

Michael W. Twitty/@KosherSoul / Twitter

Culinary historian Michael Twitty traces his ancestry through food in "The Cooking Gene: A Journey Through African-American Culinary History in the Old South." The memoir won the 2018 James Beard Foundation's Award for Book of the Year. In it, Twitty explores the complex question of who owns Southern food.

 

GPB's Tony Harris spoke with Twitty about why he wanted to wrestle with that question and his passion for food justice.

 

The Bitter Southerner

In New York in the 1980s, Chuck Reece had his first job in journalism covering the media industry for Adweek magazine. That meant he got the first look at network television pilots and magazine protoypes, and every time any of those had something to do with the South, he said he only saw a couple of stereotypes. 

"One looked like the party scene from the beginning of 'Gone with the Wind' except maybe with updated clothing, and the other one looked like ... 'The Beverly Hillbillies' to 'Duck Dynasty,' most recently," Reece said. "Those two stereotypes just didn't fit the South that I grew up in and knew."