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Dr. Harris, an award-winning food journalist and one of the foremost authorities on African American foodways, published the book a decade ago. The New York Times described it as an “account of how African slaves, thrust into a strange land, carried with them the taste memories, cooking techniques and agricultural practices of their homelands and transformed the way Americans ate,” and a lively one at that.
Now Satterfield brings it to life, talking to chefs, historians, and activists as he explores the cuisine’s roots in Benin with Dr. Harris; the role of enslaved people in American agriculture in Charleston; the intersection of U.S. Founding Fathers and Black chefs in Virginia, New York, and Pennsylvania; and how all this history rolls into current cooking culture in Texas.
In addition to the mouth-watering West African stews, whole-hog barbecue, and Black expertise in fine-dining, the team behind the series — Dr. Harris, Satterfield, and Executive Producer and Director, Roger Ross Williams — are all known for their in-depth and honest takes that refuse to sugarcoat or erase details, so viewers should expect unvarnished reality in the extensive history and stunning visual storytelling. To wit: When asked why there hasn’t been a show like this before, Williams answers, simply, “Racism.”