Award-winning chef Michael Twitty coming to St. Louis with new book ‘Koshersoul’


CALEB GUEDES-REED, JTA and Jordan Palmer

You may want to move quickly on getting your tickets for this upcoming event because appearances by James Beard Award-winning chef Michael Twitty are known to sell out quickly.

Twitty, who released a book of recipes and essays that fuses Jewish and African-American culinary histories this week, is set to appear on September 13, at 7 p.m. at The J-St. Louis, SFC Performing Arts Center in what is called a St. Louis Jewish Book Festival Bookend Event.

You have two ticket options.

  • $40 plus fees. Includes book and entrance for 1 person
  • $55 plus fees. Includes book and entrance for 2 people

You can purchase tickets online.

Michael Twitty

Twitty, 45, won acclaim for his 2018 book  “The Cooking Gene: A Journey Through African-American Culinary History in the Old South,” which also drew parallels between African-American and Jewish history. Twitty grew up in Washington, D.C., in a Christian household but around Jewish food, with a mother who regularly made challah; he converted to Judaism in his early 20s and now keeps kosher.

“[T]here are some things that science cannot explain, it’s a calling, it’s a connection, it’s above us,” Twitty told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency in 2017.

“Koshersoul: The Faith and Food Journey of an African American Jew,” released Tuesday, is a more direct mashup of the different sides of his identity. The book includes 50 recipes with names like koshersoul collards, Louisiana-style latkes and Mrs. Cardozo’s Famous seven-fruit haroset from Suriname. Readers also get essays and insights into both Twitty’s experience as someone who is both Black and Jewish as well as histories and stories about how the two cultures overlap.

The book’s cover shows a yarmulke-wearing Twitty in front of various loaves of challah. According to Twitty, each one represents a different part of his identity.

“Challahs are braided and braiding them together means I’m a whole person,” Twitty said in an interview with ABC News. “The idea that this Jewish bread can also represent all the different parts of me is what I want to convey to the readers before they even open the book at all.”

For more on Twitty’s story — and the culinary reason why he chose to convert in a Sephardic synagogue — read the full 2017 profile from JTA.

The post In new book ‘Koshersoul,’ award-winning chef Michael Twitty fuses African-American and Jewish culinary histories appeared first on Jewish Telegraphic Agency.