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Movies, dining and things to do / Spokane and North Idaho

Leslie Kelly on food: celebrating black chefs


One thing that doesn't go away just because of a pandemic quarantine is the need to eat. And my former Spokesman-Review colleague Leslie Kelly has made a career out of writing about what it means to eat well.

In her latest piece for Forbes.com, she uses her professional interest to promote the work of a number of African-American chefs featured in the book "Toques In Black: A Celebration of Black Chefs."

"The eclectic collection of recipes showcases regional cuisines with roots in the African diaspora from fine dining to down-home food trucks," Kelly wrote. "Mouthwatering preparations wander all over the map. Think cornbread topped with delicate slices of duck ham, cashew creme over pink beet pasta, spring pea mint and white chocolate tart with lavender gelato."

If none of that appeals to you — and I'll admit here that I can't stand beets — don't worry. The book includes dishes dreamed up by some 100 different chefs, including Greg Collier, of Charlotte, N.C., and the "Singing Chef" Jackie Gordon.

Which brings up the second reason why purchasing a copy of the book would be a good thing: Many of the chefs featured are out of work because of the pandemic, so 40 percent of the proceeds go into a fund designed to help support them.

That's another thing that doesn't necessarily go away during a pandemic: the chance to help out those whose need extends beyond what to fix for dinner.

Below: Chef Greg Collier, featured in a YouTube video making Hobo Stew.

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