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https://goo.gl/Z3mQTC Chef. Scholar, Culinary Historian, James Beard Boot Camp Alumni. Chef Instructor

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It was great being interviewed by @carolynmurraywcbdtv about my research on the enslaved cooks of Charleston for my Master's thesis from @olemiss and @southernstudies. Be sure to watch the feature on @wcbdnews2 Saturday night at 7:30 and see me cook my peas and greens recipe.  https://www.counton2.com/news/hidden-history/black-history-month/food-for-the-soul-contributions-of-enslaved-people-to-southern-foodways/1791667649
The Catering Queen of New Orleans.  Nellie Murray (1835-1918)  In the 1890's, Nellie Murray catered every significant ball and society ball in New Orleans. Born into slavery on the plantation of Governor Paul O. Herbert at Bayou Goula. Trained as a house servant, she had been a hairdresser, but her interest was in the kitchen, where her mother served as Herbet's cook.  After the Civil War, Murray gravitated to New Orleans, still as Herbert's salaried servant. Because Adolph Herbert and married Eliza Miller, she became the cook for Eliza's sister'in-law, Mrs Thomas Miller, and work for her through the 1870's.  In the 1880's she purchased a house on Delachaise St and contracted to be  a cook for Mrs. Frank T. Howard and her daughter Annie. One stipulation of her employment was that she could undertake events for other persons. Word of her culinary skill spread so great she didn't need a household position. She soon became the caterer for every society woman.  In 1883 she was invited supervise the cuisine at the Louisiana Mansion House at the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago. She resigned before the fair was over and returned to New Orleans and employment with the Howard family, in which she traveled with them to Europe as chef and personal assistant.  She catered until 1906 and took positions with various families throughout New Orleans. She retired in 1916 at the age of 74.  #blackculinaryhistory #blackexcellence #blackchefs #blackcaterers #neworleans #nelliemurray #chefscholar #chefslead #southernfoodways #culinarians #davidshields #zellapalmer #fromblackhandstowhitemouths #enslavedcooks #freedcooks #fromblackhandstowhitemouths #wecarrythetorch #becauseofthemican
Charleston's Great Black Chefs. George S. Johnston (1832-1888)  George Johnston enjoyed enjoyed his greatest fame as a cook while in the employ of hotelier Colonel Thomas S. Nickerson, first at the Charleston Hotel, then briefly at the Moultrie House, before overseeing the kitchen at the newly opened Mills House Hotel in 1853.  In 1865 Johnston announced his intention of opening a restaurant "second to none". During that time the city lacked economic resources as well as the ingredients available to prepare the dishes he was accustomed to in the 1850's. Though he prevailed. The restaurant opened at 61 Hassel St.  Years after the Civil War, the restaurant morphed into a mixed use space, part grocery store, part cook shop, part tavern, and mainly wine and liquor store. Though he garnered much success, when he passed there was no notice in the local papers. His role in building Charleston cuisine had been forgotten.  #blackculinaryhistory #blackexcellence #blackchefs #blackhistorymonth #blackcaterers #charlestoncooks #chefscholar #chefslead #southernfoodways #willcontnuetocarrythetorch #becauseofthemican #georgejohnston #fromblackhandstowhitemouths #enslavedcooks #freedcooks #wecarrythetorch #davidshields #theculinarians #61hasselstreet
James F. Perrineau (1868-1929): The Last of The Culinary Lineage  Perrineau was born to former slaves James and Emma Perrineau. As a teenager, he was employed as a cook by an Irish Baker and confectioner, John E. Heffron. Perrineau came from a family who were involved in the business.  His cousin was a Baker and his extended family were employed as butchers. They also worked in the city market in the 1880's and 1890's.  Throughout the 1890's Perrineau alternated between several jobs in the food industry. He had two stints at the St. Charles Hotel, line cooking at eating house at 69 1/2 Market St and a position as a porter on the South Carolina and Georgia railroad.  In 1915, he opened a restaurant at 391 1/2 King St. and ran it successfully until the death of his wife. After that he became a janitor at Burke High School, a school for African Americans during the segregation era, supplying lunch for its' students. He maintained his catering skills after hours and weekends. From World War One until the end of the Second World War, he was the caterer for St. Cecilia Society, the South Carolina Society, and the Hibernian Society. He would periodically prepare dinners for the Medical and St. Andrew's Society.  On July 18, 1929, Perrineau saved Burke High School from burning down when he noticed smoke issuing from a room that was undergoing repainting  #blackculinaryhistory #blackexcellence #blackchefs #blackhistorymonth #blackcaterers #charlestoncooks #thelineageofblackcaterers #chefscholar #chefslead #southernfoodways #willcontnuetocarrythetorch #becauseofthemican #jamesperrineau #fromblackhandstowhitemouths #enslavedcooks #freedcooks #burkehighschool
Charleston's Great Black Caterers  Tom Tully's Disciple. Williams G. Barron (1847-1900)  Barron came into prominence with the death if his teacher Tom Tully. Born into slavery in the city of Charleston, he became liberated at the age of 18 and worked under Tully from 1867-1872, where he learned all aspects of Tully's business.  In 1882, Barron opened his own restaurant and catering facility. Experiencing great success, Barron was able to expand the building in which he was located. This was a great feat, considering his business was one of the top four in the city that was not attended to or inside of a hotel.  Throughout his career, he enjoyed great success and was known as the best caterer in the city of Charleston. His reputation of success would endure untold his death in 1900. After his death his wife kept control of his business with his son and eventually his catering inventory was collected by the South Carolina Historical Society.  #blackculinaryhistory #blackexcellence #blackchefs #blackhistorymonth #blackcaterers #chefscholar #chefslead #enslavedcooks #freedcooks #fromblackhandstowhitemouths #wecarrythetorch #becauseofthemican #thelineageofblackcaterers #tomtully #williamgbarron #charlestonhistory
Thomas Tully (1828-1883)  The Protege and Heir to the Throne  Tully apprenticed under Nat Fuller and came into prominence after Fuller's death by typhoid fever in 1866. Born into freedom on Edisto Island. South Carolina in 1828. In 1853, he came to Charleston to work under the tutelage of Fuller just as Fuller started his culinary reign.  After leaving Fuller, Tully went on to partner with a free black pastry chef Martha Vanderhorst in 1859, and became a master of pastry and confections. He enjoyed success with Vanderhorst until they decided to dissolve their partnership in 1866. During his tenure Tully was known as the master of candies, jellies and other confections. It was said that a Christmas holiday could not go by without one of his signature pies.  As David Shields states "mince pie and Tully are inseparable connected. In the richess of mincemeat and delicacy of pastry, his is an unapproachable pie" in 1867, Tully went back into business for himself and until 1883, he was the reigning king of catered affairs in the city of Charleston.  #blackculinaryhistory #blackchefs #blackexcellence #blackhistorymonth #freedcooks #enslavedcooks #fromblackhandstowhitemouths #becauseofthemican #wecarrythetorch #tomtully #chefscholar #chefslead #southernfoodways #charlestoncooks #blackcaterers #benjamindennis #natfuller #thelineageofblackcaterers
The Master Teacher: Eliza Seymour Lee (1800-1874?) Lee was a freed pastry chef and restauranteur. Daughter of of Sally Seymour, she learned the mastery of meat cookery alongside slaves trained by her mother. When her mother died she took possession of Lee's 35 Tradd St. business. She also owned the Mansion House Hotel in 1838.  As a freed black woman, she attended white churches, catered to Charleston's white celebrities  and owned several properties throughout the city of Charleston.  In 1857, Lee was involved in a lawsuit against Henry Gourdin, an attorney who helped Lee manage her business affairs. Soon after there partnership went sour and Lee sued Gourdin for fraud and embezzlement. Since he was a white lawyer. Gourdin expected to prevail, over Lee, however the judge ruled in favor of Lee and Gourdin was ordered to pay restitution.  Lee had two sons who migrated to New York and began their careers as cooks by using her recipes. One of these recipes became so famous that businessman Henry Heinz bought the rights to the recipe. Some research says Heinz 57 sauce can be linked to Sally Seymour  #freedcooks #enslavedcooks #fromblackhandstowhitemouths #blackculinaryhistory #blackexcellence #blackchefs #chefscholar #chefslead #southernfoodways #willcontnuetocarrythetorch #becauseofthemican #charlestonblackchefs #charlestonmagazine #charlestonblackcaterers #elizaseymourlee #traddstreet #mansionhousehotel #robinleegriffith #davidshields #culinarians
The Matriarch of Black Caterers in Charleston. Sally Seymour (1779-1824). Mistress to a Charleston planter, Thomas Martin,  she trained under famed pastry chef Adam Prior. Prior was known for his pastries such as Rich Cakes, French Pies, Trifles, Jellies and other Confections.  Seymour became well versed in pastries under Prior's apprenticeship and she took that expertise to her Tradd St. Pastry shop. Mattin manumitted her in 1795 and she set up other businesses and passed them onto her daughter Eliza Seymour Lee upon Sally's death in 1824.  Though a freed person, she saw the value of slave ownership. As her her business flourished, she could not handle it alone. She purchased  a black woman Chloe  for 400 dollars. Business continued to flourish and she purchased a 21-year'old man named Felix, who stayed with her for ten years. She was so skilled that at any given time she had between 6-10 slaves. When she died she had an estate worth 1000 dollars and two slaves, Felix and a servant  #blackculinaryhistory #blackexcellence #blackchefs #enslavedcooks #freedcooks #fromblackhandstowhitemouths #chefscholar #chefslead #southernfoodways #willcontnuetocarrythetorch #becauseofthemican #sallyseymour #charlestonhistory #davidshields #mastersthesis #slavelabor #pastrycook #thematriarch
Chef Darryl Evans. Darryl E. Evans was born November 24, 1961 in Columbus, Georgia. He studied business administration at Chattahoochee Valley Community College, 1981-83; was enrolled in the National Apprenticeship Program, American Culinary Foundation, 1983-86; and became Certified Working Chef, 1991.  Evans began his culinary career as a chef’s apprentice in 1983 with the American Culinary Federation at the Cherokee Town and Country Club, which has been named the very best private club in America since 1997. Seven years later, he was appointed Executive Chef, a position he has held at several restaurants, country clubs and four Star-rated establishments including the prestigious City Club of Buckhead. ” I would recommend my job to anyone who has a passion for food. It’s a valuable and exciting career that I love and has taken me all over the world and now, I am honored to be at City Club of Buckhead,” said Evans. Evans was also a founding board member of The Edna Lewis Foundation, founded in 2012 after the famed chef, cookbook author, and teacher, it is dedicated to honoring, preserving and nurturing African Americans’ culinary heritage and culture.  Famed Savannah chef Joe Randall said that this quote from Evans’ appearance on his television show provides the best insight to the man:“I give a little bit of my personality”“But I don’t have to cover it up or add things to disguise it and make it something that it is not”. He is a three-time recipient of the AFCs Chef of the Year award. He was the first African American to participate in the International Culinary Olympics, Frankfurt, Germany where he won three gold medals and one silver medal in 1988 and 1992.  #blackculinaryhistory #blackhistorymonth #blackexcellence #becauseofthemican #africanamericanchefshalloffame #atasteofheritage #chefscholar #chefslead #southernfoodways #willcontnuetocarrythetorch #culinaryolympics #ripchef #darrylevans
He has owned and managed a catering firm and provided consultant services to restaurant operators. His broad experience, coupled with a talent and enthusiasm for helping others learn the craft and systems of restaurant excellence, resulted in his serving on the faculty of four schools. In the late 1990s he adopted his signature Kente cloth from Ghana, adding the hand-woven cloth to his uniform as a show of his pride as an “African-American chef,” Randall said.  The magic of Savannah and the city’s love for good southern cooking lured Chef Joe Randall to Georgia. Known by many as the Dean of Southern Cuisine, Chef Joe Randall has been cookin’ up fine southern dishes in Savannah since 1999. Randall founded the Chef Joe Randall’s Cooking School in 2000. He demonstrated basic southern cooking techniques and shared his favorite cooking tips with clients from around the world. His unique style exemplified authentic southern cuisine.  Using food from the South, the Low Country and Georgia’s Atlantic Coast, it didn’t get any better than Joe’s mouth-watering Sea Island Smothered Shrimp and Stone-Ground Grits, or a steaming pot of Savannah Red Rice. He taught two generations of “food enthusiast and cooks” during his 16 years at Chef Joe Randall’s Cooking School at 5409 Waters Ave. Now 70, Randall said he plans to retire at year’s end — or at least say goodbye to the cooking school and start a new venture at the same location, which became the African American Chefs Hall of Fame.  Randall’s expertise in southern cuisine is held in such high esteem that he was honored and featured in the Culture Expressions Gallery of the newly opened Smithsonian Institute of National Museum of African-American History and Culture in Washington, D.C., along with chefs Edna Lewis, Patrick Clark, Leah Chase and Hercules, George Washington’s enslaved cook. Randall’s cookbook, “A Taste of Heritage: the New African-American Cuisine” and his 40-year-old colander
African American Chefs Hall of Fame Inductee, Stanley Jackson.  Chef Stanley Jackson, Sr., grew up in New Orleans in a family of ten children. He learned quite a few cooking techniques at a early age. He was always creating some type of dish for his family to test and they loved it. After contemplating on a career path to take after high school,his mother encouraged him to do what to do what he was best at, cooking. Chef Jackson attended John R. Thompson School of Culinary Arts in Chicago. His first job in New Orleans was as a cook at the old D.H. Holmes Potpourri restaurant on Canal Street. Shortly after joining the Potpourri staff, Jackson was promoted to chef and put in charge of the restaurant’s cooking menus.After working at D.H. Holmes for several years Chef Jackson met Paul Prudhomme, who was head chef of Commander’s Palace. Chef Prudhomme was impressed with Jackson’s work at D.H. Holmes and asked Jackson to join him in the team of chefs at Commander’s Palace to open K-Paul’s, Jackson went with him as his executive chef.  #africanamericanchefshalloffame #atasteofheritage #blackchefs #blackexcellence #chefscholar #chefslead #southernfoodways #stanleyjackson #wecarrythetorch #becauseofthemican #neverforget #ripchef
African American Chefs Hall of Fame Inductee. Leah Chase.  For the past 53 years, Leah Chase has been the Executive Chef of Dooky Chase Restaurant – a New Orleans Creole landmark. Leah has cooked countless servings of jambalaya, Creole file’ gumbo and shrimp stew and seasoned her specialties with some of the finest ingredients, including Lawry’s Seasoned Salt. The oldest of 14 children, Leah Lange Chase, from Madisonville, Louisiana has not forgotten her roots, love for life or Creole cooking from generations past. A cookbook author, Leah has appeared in cooking shows with nationally recognized chefs, including Julia Child, Graham Kerr and John Folse. She ships her world famous gumbo globally to anyone from Quincy Jones to Sidney Poitier.  Since the opening of Dooky Chase Restaurant, Leah Chase has seen both history and art evolved into something beautiful–a purpose in her life. When African Americans could not get into many of the city’s restaurants in the 50s and early 60s, Leah Chase cooked for the civil rights workers. She even brought meals to struggling artists and catered their openings before they became famous.  Leah Chase’s expertness in Creole cuisine is held in such high esteem that she was honored and featured in the Culture Expressions Gallery of the newly opened Smithsonian Institute of National Museum of African-American History and Culture in Washington, D.C., along with chefs Edna Lewis, Patrick Clark, Joe Randall and Hercules, George Washington’s enslaved chef  #blackculinaryhistory #blackexcellence #blackchefs #blackhistorymonth #africanamericanchefshalloffame #atasteofheritage #chefscholar #chefslead #leahchase #southernfoodways #enslavedcooks #freedcooks #fromblackhandstowhitemouths #wecarrythetorch #becauseofthemican #dookychase #neworleans
African American Chefs Hall of Fame Inductee, Chef Leon West.  Chef Leon West was born into a family of eight children in Boston Massachusetts in 1946. His extraordinary career as a chef started in 1962 when he was a busboy and dishwasher at the old Jonny’s Diner in his home town. While working at the neighborhood grocery store, Chef Leon learned how to order a substantial amount of product early in life. Chef Leon attended the Massachusetts Vocational and Technical School’s Culinary Arts Program. He received his on the job training with the Sheraton Hotel in Boston.  Chef West began his career with ARAMARK in 1978. After only five years, he accepted the position of Executive Chef of the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans. He arrived in New Orleans in 1984 with his wife and seven daughters, while the newly constructed building was in use as the centerpiece of the World’s Fair. Chef West has been recognized among his peers, both locally and internationally, as one of New Orleans’ most talented chefs. He has delighted the most discriminating tastes with his versatile talents and his unique ability to adapt from small elegant functions to dinners for over 12,000 attendees. Over the years, he has effectively managed a staff of over 200 cooks and pantry personnel.  The outstanding characteristics of Chef West are dedication, willingness to create the extraordinary under extreme pressure, and being well versed in every aspect of cooking. He personifies this by working 12, 15, even 20 hours a day. #blackculinaryhistory #blackexcellence #blackhistorymonth #africanamericanchefshalloffame #atasteofheritage #chefscholar #chefslead #leonwest #willcontnuetocarrythetorch #becauseofthemican #blackchefs #fromblackhandstowhitemouths
African American Chefs Hall of Fame Inductee. Chef W. Lee Chef Lee started his culinary journey in Atlanta, Georgia at the age of seven years old around 1918.  Chef Lee worked and trained under Chef Bruauier for thirteen years. He then worked at the King and Prince Beach Club on Saint Simons Island, Georgia. Robert moved to Charleston, South Carolina He relocated to Atlanta in 1939 where he worked at the Hotel Henry Grady until he was lured to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania around 1939 by the chef he had worked for in Charleston. Chef Lee worked as a cook at the Harrisburger Hotel until 1942.  He then joined the U.S. Army where he became a mess sergeant and instructor, returning to the Harrisburger Hotel as a cook in 1946, after being discharged from the army. Over the next year, the Hotel experienced a rapid turnover of executive chefs. Finally, Chef Lee was recommended for the position of executive chef which he excepted over the next twenty-seven years.  Chef Lee managed the kitchens at the Harrisburger Hotel, with an entire African-American staff. He trained many young men and women for careers in the culinary field. Lecturing and demonstrating at Pennsylvania State University School of Hotel Management. Chef Lee built a clientele in several restaurants within the hotel and maintained a dedicated following throughout those years. In 1966 the owner of the Harrisburger Hotel died. Chef Lee excepted the position as executive chef at the Blue Ridge Country Club, where he worked until the fall of 1969. He took over as executive chef at the Sheraton Hotel Harrisburg for the Archris Hotel Corporation of Boston. His outstanding achievements in the Culinary Arts were recognized by naming him Chef of the Year from 1970 thru 1979. Chef Lee retired in 1979 and lived with his devoted wife Geneva in Harrisburg, PA until his death November 24, 1999  #blackculinaryhistory #blackexcellence #blackchefs #chefscholar #chefslead #wecarrythetorch #becauseofthemican #chefscholar
I am excited to make my way back to my alma mater @theculinaryinstituteofamerica to speak on a panel for their Black History Month celebration. Looking forward to being back.on campus, it's been awhile. #blackculinaryhistory #blackchefs #blackchefinstructors #blackhistorymonth #proud2bcia #culinaryinstituteofamerica #blackalumni #chefscholar #chefslead
Black Culinary History.  Chef Clifton Williams  Clifton got an early start in the industry, training with his father, the chef/owner of the Monterey restaurant in Newark, New Jersey. His father continued to be an influence as Clifton first completed an apprenticeship, then following in his father’s footsteps, became owner and manager of a Newark coffee shop for several years.  Clifton’s first post was at the Famed Playboy Towers Hotel in Chicago. Next, he journeyed to Kentucky, taking on the position as executive chef at Casa Grisanti Restaurant, in Louisville. Following this stint, he moved on.  For the next 20 years, Clifton was the executive chef at the Executive Inn Rivermont, Owensboro, Kentucky. Later, he opened Clifton’s New Gateway Bar and Grill Restaurant in Muddy, Illinois.He then move to Las Vegas NV.  Clifton had many affiliations and has received numerous awards: including the Honorable Order of the Golden Toque, The American Academy of Chefs and Oxford’s Who’s Who-The Elite registry of Extraordinary Professionals. He is President and Charter member of Les Amis d’ Escoffier Society of Kentucky and he is a member of the Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels.  #ripchef #blackculinaryhistory #becauseofthemican #blackchefs #africanamericanchefshalloffame #chefscholar #chefslead #proud2bcia #olemissgrad18 #southernfoodways #wecarrythetorch #fromblackhandstowhitemouths #enslavedcooks #freedcooks #cliftonwilliams
Black Culinary History. Edna Lewis, inductee in the African American Chefs Hall of Fame.  As the acknowledged foremost authority on Southern cooking, Edna Lewis’ culinary career spanned more than seventy five years. It included experience in both the north and the south’s most popular eateries, the publication of three wonderful cookbooks, and her personal legacy of preserving her culture, flavors and traditions of the South that she grew up in.  Edna’s contributions to the restaurant industry set a positive example for all African American chefs. Her preservation of Southern cuisine provided a culinary foundation that continues to evolve and influence chefs across the nation. The story of Edna Lewis reminds all of us to take what we know best and make it work for us with trust and passion. Ms. Lewis was recognized by The Taste of Heritage Foundation in 1997 with her induction to the African-American Chefs Hall of Fame Worthy Heir to a Great Tradition of African-American Cookery and A Rich Legacy of Culinary Excellence. Edna Lewis began her career around the age of 16 as a cook at the Brazilian Embassy in Washington, DC. As early as 1948, Ms. Lewis was a popular chef in New York City, serving up her Southern specialties at Cafe Nicholson for John Nicholson on Manhattan’s East Side, Aschkenasy’s US Steak House, and eventually at Gage & Tollner in Brooklyn. She later taught cooking classes, worked as a caterer and was a visiting consulting restaurant chef at such great places as Fearrington House in Pittsboro, North Carolina and Middletown Place in Charleston, South Carolina. #ripchef #blackculinaryhistory #becauseofthemican #blackchefs #africanamericanchefshalloffame #fromblackhandstowhitemouths #chefjoerandall #atasteofheritage #chefscholar #chefslead #proud2bcia #olemissgrad18 #southernfoodways #jamesbeard #olemissgrad18
Thanks @charlestonmag for this feature in the February edition about my work of telling the stories of Charleston's enslaved cooks and my partnership with @draytonhall. Looking forward to our dinner April 27th. Get your tickets  https://charlestonmag.com/features/hungry_for_more  #blackculinaryhistory #blackchefs #enslavedcooks #freedcooks #fromblackhandstowhitemouths #wecarrythetorch #becauseofthemican #southernfoodways #proud2bcia #olemissgrad18 #charlestonmagazine #culinaryinstituteofcharleston #natfuller #hercules #gullahgeechee #africanamericanchefshalloffame