Hello, listeners (readers), I’m so thankful and happy you’re here today! and I’m very honored to introduce you to Adrian Miller, otherwise known as the Soul Food Scholar. I recently read the second of Adrian’s 3 books (so far) The President’s Kitchen Cabinet, about the The Story of the African Americans Who Have Fed Our First Families, from the Washingtons to the Obamas. I loved this book of historical anecdotes which were interesting in their own right and also often served to teach larger truths about the office and the country.
But honestly, I was hooked while reading Adrian’s bio, which was written with a humor and humility that belied his impressive resume.
Among other accomplishments, Adrian Miller served as a special assistant to President Bill Clinton with his Initiative for One America – the first free-standing office in the White House to address issues of racial, religious and ethnic reconciliation. He is a James Beard Award winner, attorney, and certified barbecue judge who lives in Denver, Colorado and currently leads the Colorado Council of Churches as they work together for justice.
Adrian was kind enough to come on and answer my fumbling questions about many of these topics – from the scholarly definition of Soul Food, to his personal history, and finally his ongoing and, sadly, often frustrating work on the front of racial reconciliation. I am grateful to Adrian for his scholarship, wisdom, and time, I commend his books to you, and I am thrilled to share this interview today.
- Historical context for church and meals in minority communities
- “A community cannot come together without food”
- Why is there a vegetable plate at any soul food restaurant?
- What’s the hottest trend in soul food?
- Complicated relationship: Southern Cooking, Down Home Cooking, Soul Food
- What’s the definition of Soul Food and is it being redefined?
- Who can make Soul Food?
- His childhood ambition and what went from there
- Working for President Clinton’s initiative on race
- Is simply listening to each other enough?
- Food & racial reconciliation
- A dinner guide for difficult conversations
- His research process
Listen to Guest Now
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More Episodes with Black North American Guests
More Cooking from American South
How To Contact Adrian
Adrian’s First Book: Soul Food
Adrian’s Second Book: The President’s Kitchen Cabinet
Adrian’s Latest Book: Black Smoke