A fascinating, prismatic look at the legacy of one of America’s most beloved chefs.




A collection of essays on the life and influences of pioneering chef Edna Lewis (1916-2006).

Editor Franklin, a food studies scholar, gathers the thoughts of a wide variety of contributors, including John T. Edge, Alice Waters, Michael W. Twitty, and others. Known for her poignant depictions of Southern folklore, Lewis was not one to shy away from other people’s misconceptions and prejudices. She made it her mission to combine food culture with sociopolitical issues, to interweave notions of racial tolerance and peaceful cohabitation in the dishes she served and in the stories she told. Franklin divides the book into three parts. In the first, essayists recall their first impressions of Lewis. In the second part, writers reflect on the impact Lewis has had on the sociopolitical climate and how both her writing and cookbooks greatly contributed to the dialogue. In the third section, contributors evaluate Lewis’ legacy in today’s world—Twitty writes, “my purpose here is to look at the life of chef Lewis as a continuum of a specific culinary and cultural legacy rooted in a particular regional and familial past.” Franklin’s laudable project sheds much-needed light on the significance of this singular culinary figure. “There is something about the South,” wrote Lewis in an essay, “that stimulates creativity in people, be they black or white writers, artists, cooks, builders, or primitives that pass away without knowing they were talented.” It’s precisely that creativity that Lewis captured and embodied and that many of the anthology’s contributors highlight throughout. Regarding Lewis’ Taste of Country Cooking, Patricia E. Clark writes, “Lewis as subject and author of her own work is rendered with an intimate familiarity and a peculiar anonymity all at once.” Franklin’s work is a compelling examination of Lewis’ identity that will appeal to food historians, racial studies scholars, and anyone seeking to learn more about Southern food.

A fascinating, prismatic look at the legacy of one of America’s most beloved chefs.

Pub Date: April 13, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-4696-3855-3

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Univ. of North Carolina

Review Posted Online: Jan. 28, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2018

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This early reader is an excellent introduction to the March on Washington in 1963 and the important role in the march played by Martin Luther King Jr. Ruffin gives the book a good, dramatic start: “August 28, 1963. It is a hot summer day in Washington, D.C. More than 250,00 people are pouring into the city.” They have come to protest the treatment of African-Americans here in the US. With stirring original artwork mixed with photographs of the events (and the segregationist policies in the South, such as separate drinking fountains and entrances to public buildings), Ruffin writes of how an end to slavery didn’t mark true equality and that these rights had to be fought for—through marches and sit-ins and words, particularly those of Dr. King, and particularly on that fateful day in Washington. Within a year the Civil Rights Act of 1964 had been passed: “It does not change everything. But it is a beginning.” Lots of visual cues will help new readers through the fairly simple text, but it is the power of the story that will keep them turning the pages. (Easy reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-448-42421-5

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2000

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Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

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