In honor of Black History Month we’ve rounded up some of our favorite books and cookbooks by Black authors and celebrating Black creators from the shelves of our Test Kitchen. From African cuisine to Soul Food, to delicious cakes and at-home meals for one, these books are ones that you will want to add to your shelf.
When building your cookbook collection, we recommend visiting your local bookstore and shopping their selection. Turning Page Bookshop and Blue Bicycle Books are both local to Charleston and offer shipping!
The Jemima Code by Toni Tipton-Martin – Without the people of the African diaspora, Amercia’s food + culinary conversation would be vastly different. The Jemima Code acknowledges + pays homage to American cooks + cookbook authors who have paved the way and are an inspiration to many.
In Bibi’s Kitchen by Hawa Hassan – What’s more comforting than cooking in your grandmother, or bibi’s, kitchen? Dive-in for a big helping of flavor, love, and tradition as you cook your way through eight eastern African countries.
Carla Hall’s Soul Food by Carla Hall with Genevieve Ko – A celebration of Black culinary heritage, the recipes will leave you with a full belly + heart. Try the Tomato Pie with Garlic Bread Crust (p. 53) – trust us, you’ll be begging for a second helping.
Grandbaby Cakes by Jocelyn Delk Adams – Inspired by her grandmother’s legendary cakes, Jocelyn Delk Adams shares her reimagined classics in hopes of inspiring a new generation of bakers. Get your sweet tooth ready!
Cooking Solo by Klancy Miller – Dinner party for one! Find the fun in cooking for yourself in the pages of Klancy Miller’s debut cookbook. Keep cozy and whip up the Spicy Coconut-Sweet Potato Soup (p. 152).
Tasting Rome by Kristina Gill (co-author) – While we may not be jet setting at the moment, co-author Kristina Gill’s photography + recipes take readers on a culinary adventure. Deliziosa! Check out more of Kristina’s work for additional wanderlust inspiration.
The Taste of Country Cooking by Edna Lewis – An ode to her upbringing, Edna Lewis shares recipes + memories from her childhood centered around the seasonality + tradition of a Virgina farming community settled by freed slaves, including Edna’s own grandfather.
Edna Lewis: At the Table with an American Original edited by Sara B Franklin – Nearly two-dozen food-world essayists – including Mashama Bailey and Toni Tipton-Martin, and Edna Lewis’s sister, Ruth Lewis Smith, and niece, Nina Williams-Mbengue, share their own encounters with this culinary trailblazer.
Black, White, and The Grey by Mashama Bailey – While this is technically not a cookbook, it is a new release from one of our participating CHSWFF chefs. It shares the story of how Chef Mashama Bailey and Johno Morisano built a relationship + restaurant in the hopes of bridging biases and getting people to talk about race, gender, class, and culture.
Vibration Cooking or, The Travel Notes of a Geechee Girl by Vertamae Smart-Grosvenor – Part memoir, part cookbook – the culinary griot, Vertamae Smart-Grosvenor, invites readers to cook by vibration and join her as she shares stories of her travels + experiences as a Black woman.
Holy Spirits! Charleston Culture Through Cocktails by Taneka Reaves and Johnny Caldwell – Sip your way through the culture of Charleston’s spirits with the Cocktail Bandits as your guides. Pretend it is summer with the Porgy & Bess (p. 104).
These are the next books we plan to add to our bookshelf
The Twisted Soul Cookbook by Deborah Van Trece
Rice: A Savor the South Cookbook by Michael W. Twitty
Rodney Scott’s World of BBQ: Every Day Is a Good Day by Rodney Scott and Lolis Eric Elie