Jun 21 • 24M

EP 43 Food Pioneers: Life and Career Highlights of People Who Make Food Great

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Food lovers, Kim Baker and Leigh Olson, invite you on a storytelling journey exploring food memories, family recipes, food traditions, cuisines, cookery, and food history to discover how food connects, defines, and inspires us.
Episode details

The first episode of a new As We Eat series highlights the accomplished lives and careers of Leah Chase and Edna Lewis - two African-American chefs who not only had brilliant careers but whose work in the culinary world highlights how important food culture is to community-building.

Leah Chase, White House Photo. Edna Lewis, 1973 from Vogue

Food Pioneers: Leah Chase and Edna Lewis

As We Eat is launching a new series highlighting chefs, influencers, and food pioneers of renown and it seemed appropriate to start with two great African-American chefs who not only cooked great food that nourished people, but who in turn created opportunities to elevate and improve the lives of others.

Chef Leah Chase, famed Executive Chef of Dooky Chase Restaurant in New Orleans, not only amplified Creole and Cajun foods in Louisiana, but her restaurant served as a critical hub for Civil Rights activism and community building. Over her 70 year career, Chase served all manner of celebrities, activists, and politicians - including two American presidents - but made it clear that what mattered most to her was serving good food.

Civil Rights Act 1964 signed by President by Lyndon B. Johnson

From her early life in Freetown to her Executive Chef career in New York, Chef Edna Lewis - the Grand Dame of Southern Cooking - deeply cared about the journey that food takes from seed to plate. She is truly the originator of the farm to table ethic and was a great proponent for the joys of eating food that is seasonally fresh. Her seminal cookbook - A Taste of Country - is a master lesson about Southern cooking and how food orientates us to both time and place, whether in historic Freetown or urban New York City.

The Taste of Country Cooking Cover

What Food Pioneers have inspired you and how you feed yourself, family and friends, and your community?

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Episode Transcript

🎧 Click here for the full, interactive transcript of this episode 🎧

Sources We Found Helpful for this Episode 

Books We Think You’ll  Enjoy Reading

Recipes You Really Need to Try

Episodes We Think You’ll Like

Join us in two weeks for EP 44: Look to the Cookie! Black & White Cookies and Racial Harmony. If you’re enjoying the podcast, we would love to have you join our supporting subscribers. For just a few dollars, you can get access to exclusive content, including the Recipe Box Roulette “card game”, more in-depth articles, and recipes. You’ll also help keep our oven lights on!

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