On Wednesday, Beach Freshers got the chance to attend a summit Called Food is Power. This summit featured African American Chefs/Bakers that are running restaurants/bakeries while serving the community. Edouardo Jordan gave a cooking demonstration while talking about the history and spices of different foods. Chef April; A bakery owner from Detroit also gave a cooking demo of pound cake. As she was making the pound cake different stories popped up about how it was a central part of African American Culture especially in the South. There was a discussion about the difference between food desserts (An area where it’s difficult to access healthy foods) and food swamps. Food Swamps are areas where there are a few healthy options but those are being outweighed by fast food and other unhealthy options. At the end, there was a conversation about how the pandemic is worsening Food Insecurity. Each of the Chefs that presented are doing their part to help solve that problem. Chef Jordan gave meals to restaurant workers at the height of the pandemic. Chef April supports No Kid Hungry and provides a livable wage to their employees.
This month, as part of a curriculum based on food education, the young adult members of RBAC’s Beach Fresh program also watched the first episode of High on the Hog, a Netflix docu-series exploring how African American Cuisine transformed America. “Based on the foundational book of the same name by food historian Jessica B. Harris, the four-part series travels to Benin, West Africa, as well as around the United States, from South Carolina to Texas, Philadelphia, and New York. In doing so, the show reveals stories behind the food of the African American table and its relationship to Black history.” –Variety
In the first episode, Beach Freshers got to watch as chef, food writer, and sommelier, Stephen Satterfield explored Benin with renowned food historian Dr. Jessica B Harris. The all-Black creative team behind the show really whisked viewers away on a culinary adventure, highlighting the incredible similarities between several American dishes that got their roots from West Africa. The educational moments didn’t stop at lunch, though. That first episode of High on the Hog discussed the darker sentiment that okra was not the only thing that was brought across the Atlantic, taking the opportunity to delve deeper into the history of the slave trade in Benin. All in all, Beach Freshers found the docu-series to be both interesting and inspiring, having learned more about the history and importance behind African American cuisine.