Roots, Heart, Soul: The Story, Celebration, and Recipes of Afro Cuisine in America

Harvest. Feb. 2024. 272p. ISBN 9780358612674. $35. COOKING
In his latest cookbook, chef, restaurateur, author, and two-time James Beard nominee Richards (Soul), writing with Amy Paige Condon, digs even deeper into his family heritage and culture surrounding food. The chapters cover historical and regional cuisine that reflects the Afro-diaspora to and within the Americas. Starting the journey in West Africa and traveling to the Caribbean, Mexico, and the U.S., Richards creates regional dishes that replicate the foodways of his ancestors but are designed for the modern kitchen. His interpretations will delight, covering a variety of techniques and ingredients. The book’s narrative masterfully weaves in history and cultural lessons and introduces readers to influencers who represent these traditions today. Richards’s personality can be found even in the history lessons, including his signature playlists and plenty of practical and down-to-earth culinary guidance. A mix of lovely food and environmental photography leads readers through the pages and will draw cooks to the kitchen. This book is a journey that food enthusiasts and home chefs will want to take.
VERDICT Richards delves into the foodways of his ancestors and, in doing so, highlights the Afro-diaspora and its delicious culinary heritage in the U.S. and beyond.
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