Book Dreams podcast

Ep. 109 - Black Food, with Bryant Terry

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The best cookbooks are so much more than collections of recipes. They’re windows into a life or a place or a time or a way of thinking. The very best cookbooks are all of these things at once. Black Food: Stories, Art, and Recipes from Across the African Diaspora is one of these rare books. Edited by author-activist Bryant Terry, and published by his new imprint 4 Color Books, Black Food is the work of more than a hundred chefs, artists, and scholars who contributed recipes, artwork, and essays to a book that is as visually stunning as it is thought-provoking. Think Toni Morrison’s The Black Book (which served as a template for Black Food), but also think sweet potato leaves with eggplant and butter beans, and peach cobbler with nutmeg sauce. In this episode of Book Dreams, Eve and Julie talk with Bryant about the making of Black Food, his childhood experiences on his grandfather’s urban farm, and his evolution from carnivorous high school athlete to vegan cookbook author. They also discuss the future of 4 Color Books and its mission to “push forward more diversity within the food system” by publishing visually arresting books by authors of color. Bryant is the author of six cookbooks. He's also a James Beard and NAACP Image Award-winning chef, educator, and author, renowned for his activism to create a healthy, just, and sustainable food system. Bryant is the Founder and Editor in Chief of 4 Color Books, a new imprint of Penguin Random House and Ten Speed Press. Since 2015, he has been the Chef in Residence at the Museum of the African Diaspora in San Francisco, where he creates public programming at the intersection of food, farming, health, activism, art, and culture. Bryant's most recent book, Black Food: Stories, Art, and Recipes from Across the African Diaspora, was the first book to be published by his new imprint and the most critically acclaimed American cookbook published in 2021. It landed on the Best Of lists of The New Yorker, Boston Globe, The Washington Post, NPR, Los Angeles Times, Glamour, and many other publications. San Francisco Magazine included Bryant among the 11 Smartest People in the Bay Area Food Scene and Fast Company named him one of Nine People Who Are Changing the Future of Food. Bryant's mentor, Alice Waters, says, “Bryant Terry knows that good food should be an everyday right, and not a privilege.” Find us on Twitter (@bookdreamspod) and Instagram (@bookdreamspodcast), or email us at [email protected] We encourage you to visit our website and sign up for our newsletter for information about our episodes, guests, and more. Book Dreams is a part of Lit Hub Radio and the Podglomerate network, a company that produces, distributes, and monetizes podcasts. For more information on how The Podglomerate treats data, please see our Privacy Policy. Since you’re listening to Book Dreams, we’d like to suggest you also try other Podglomerate shows about literature, writing, and storytelling like Storybound and The History of Literature. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

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