ORCA General Poster Session (Virtual)

Title

Highlighting Recipes for Recognition and Social Reform in Soul Food Cookbooks.

Presenter Information

Jake HicksFollow

Academic Level at Time of Presentation

Sophomore

Major

Nursing

List all Project Mentors & Advisor(s)

Dr. Alexandra Hendley

Presentation Format

Poster Presentation

Abstract/Description

This article explores the writings of African American chefs Edna Lewis and Todd Richards along with Nutritional activists Fabiola Demps Gaines and Roniece Weaver, who have used their published soul food cookbooks to challenge racial stereotypes while redefining America’s perceptions of the southern cuisine known as soul food. Lily Kelting found that southern cuisine is branching out into more than just a regional food and has shifted into a social movement. This article offers a progressive view on how this social movement of southern cuisine is reshaping the public’s understandings of what constitutes Soul food. Through in-depth content analysis, this article identifies the authors’ use of cookbooks as opportunities to make political statements and highlight racial inequalities that have otherwise not been recognized. Within these cookbooks, a variety of recipes with different focuses of professionalism, diet, and creativity have helped challenge stereotypical expectations regarding what soul food is as a cuisine—which has then contributed to shifting expectations of who these soul cuisine cooks are. This article uses preexisting research to define which stereotypes are being challenged such as by using nutritional journalist Tipton Martin’s coined phrase—The Jemima Code. The Jemima Code symbolizes the misconception that the creators and cooks of soul food are best defined as naturally skilled African American women who cook by instinct and do not apply formal education into their cooking styles. Such stereotypes are directly challenged by this article, helping to shine a light on progressive racial efforts in the food industry.

Spring Scholars Week 2020 Event

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Highlighting Recipes for Recognition and Social Reform in Soul Food Cookbooks.

This article explores the writings of African American chefs Edna Lewis and Todd Richards along with Nutritional activists Fabiola Demps Gaines and Roniece Weaver, who have used their published soul food cookbooks to challenge racial stereotypes while redefining America’s perceptions of the southern cuisine known as soul food. Lily Kelting found that southern cuisine is branching out into more than just a regional food and has shifted into a social movement. This article offers a progressive view on how this social movement of southern cuisine is reshaping the public’s understandings of what constitutes Soul food. Through in-depth content analysis, this article identifies the authors’ use of cookbooks as opportunities to make political statements and highlight racial inequalities that have otherwise not been recognized. Within these cookbooks, a variety of recipes with different focuses of professionalism, diet, and creativity have helped challenge stereotypical expectations regarding what soul food is as a cuisine—which has then contributed to shifting expectations of who these soul cuisine cooks are. This article uses preexisting research to define which stereotypes are being challenged such as by using nutritional journalist Tipton Martin’s coined phrase—The Jemima Code. The Jemima Code symbolizes the misconception that the creators and cooks of soul food are best defined as naturally skilled African American women who cook by instinct and do not apply formal education into their cooking styles. Such stereotypes are directly challenged by this article, helping to shine a light on progressive racial efforts in the food industry.