The Cooking Gene: A Journey Through African American Culinary History in the Old South

Marriott Conference Center A

Saturday, 1:45-2:30

Culinary historian Michael W. Twitty brings a fresh perspective to our most divisive cultural issue, race, in this illuminating memoir of Southern cuisine and food culture that traces his ancestry--both black and white--through food, from Africa to America and from slavery to freedom.


Michael Twitty

Michael W. Twitty is a noted culinary and cultural historian and the creator of Afroculinaria, the first blog devoted to African American historic foodways and their legacy. He has been honored by First We as one of twenty greatest food bloggers of all time, and named one of “Fifty People Changing the South” by Southern Livingand one of the “Five Cheftavists to Watch” by TakePart.Com. Twitty has appeared throughout the media, including NPR’s The Splendid Table; has given more than 250 talks in the U.S. and abroad; and his work has appeared in Ebony, the Guardian, and on He lives in Rockville, Maryland.


Kate Williams

Kate Williams is an associate editor at Southern Kitchen. She just moved back home to Atlanta after spending several years living in the San Francisco Bay Area. Williams has been working in food since 2009, including a two-year stint at America’s Test Kitchen. She has been a personal chef, recipe developer, the food editor at a hyperlocal news site in Berkeley and a freelance writer for publications such as Serious Eats, Anova Culinary, The Cook’s Cook and Berkeleyside.