Food Book Fair Authors Share Their Favorite Cookbooks

food book fair

Bryant Terry, Chef/Food justice activist/Author

Author of Vegan Soul Kitchen and the forthcoming Afro-Vegan

Tell us about your favorite classic cookbook or food-related book and how it transformed your relationship with food or informed your style of cooking.

The Taste of Country Cooking by Edna Lewis had a major influence on my cooking. Her mission was to help people connect with the flavors of real food that she enjoyed growing up in the South, and I strive to do the same thing. That book also had a huge impact on my style of recipe writing. That book reads like a memoir infused with recipes, and it inspired me to draw heavily on history and memory in my own cookbook writing, which I often describe as “recipes as autobiography.”

Tell us about your favorite modern cookbook and like above, how it transformed your relationship with food or informed your style of cooking.

Super Natural Cooking by Heidi Swanson was one of those cookbooks that changed the game for me. I remember seeing it on display at a bookstore and speeding across the room to grab it because the cover was so striking. In regard to Heidi’s approach to cooking, I love her focus on whole, unprocessed, nutrient-rich foods. What really brings her recipes to life, though, is the gorgeous photography and the simple, clean, and modern design of her books. Heidi has been one of my biggest cheerleaders since the publication of my second book, Vegan Soul Kitchen. Without her, there would be no Afro-Vegan.

Favorite Brooklyn-based restaurant and why.

Forks-down, Joloff Senegalese Restaurant. I lived around the corner from the former location in Clinton Hill when I was in graduate school at NYU. I ate there several times per week. Whenever I come back to Brooklyn, it is one of the first stops that I make.

Bryan will be at the Food Book Fair panel: Food + Race on Saturday, April 26 at 1:30 p.m. 


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