To Find Myself, All I Needed Was A Hunting License

My maternal grandmother was a sharecropper—part of a system of indentured servitude for Black people in the South, with only marginally more freedom or wages than chattel slavery. Landowners monitored our behaviors, evicting us for whatever they deemed to be “misconduct.” Large groups of Black people were only permitted on the land for Sunday service, and every part of our existence had to be rented from white landowners, putting us in perpetual debt.

When we’d drive down to Alabama to visit de

The role of food in the movement for Palestine

For Reem Assil, a Palestinian-Syrian social justice activist, chef, and owner of Reem’s California, food is integral to resistance. She organized for ten years prior to becoming a chef. Community organizing is a key pillar of her culinary philosophy now, with many projects, including her worker-owned co-op restaurants, a groundbreaking commitment in the culinary world where private ownership abounds. “People always say that I was a former organizer turned chef, and I say, ‘No, food just happens to be the tool in my toolkit through which I’m organizing people now,’” Assil tells Mondoweiss.

For Reem Assil, Food Is A Tool For Palestinian Liberation

Many across the world are seeing the horror of the occupation of Palestine for the first time. But for Palestinians like Assil, this reality is one they were born into—a reality shaping both their fondest memories and deepest pains.

“I went to Gaza once in 1994, and that was a pivotal moment in my understanding of my own identity,” Assil says. She was 11 years old, and Israeli forces were dismantling settlements in the Gaza Strip after destroying all the infrastructure.

Food is no longer a main character on The Bear

When the food stopped being exciting, the show followed suit. Instead of being a show about how cooking and eating bring people together, it became like the same old New American tasting menu fare. It reminded me of the RS Benedict essay “Everyone is beautiful and no one is horny,” about the stripping of authentic sexuality and sensuality from film. Except in The Bear, every dish is beautiful and no one is hungry (or horny, for that matter but that’s a different article).

Railway Runaway

Flying makes me feel powerless. So in 2019, I stopped and started taking trains—mainly Amtrak. On these trains, I carry a sense of rootlessness that’s invaded me since I became estranged from my mother nine years ago. And on trains, I’ve learned I’m not alone. This waywardness runs through many frequent train travelers.

Traveling often and for long periods of time, it sometimes feels like I have no home. Often when visiting a new place, I think, ‘Maybe, if I relocated, this could be home.’ I ha

This West Indian-Owned Montreal Spice Market Took Me On A Culinary Journey Around The World

The Golden Rules of Spices is also about the theory and science of spices, a woefully under-covered topic in culinary spaces, where Ethné points out that people often aren’t taught the difference between flavor and taste. The book explains it well. “The perception of flavor is triggered by the smells which reach our nasal cavity through the back of our palate when we eat. Our noses can differentiate well over 10,000 smells. Taste is the sensation experienced by our taste buds."

Charlie Mitchell is focused on making Brooklyn’s Clover Hill a comforting masterpiece

Charlie Mitchell’s 34-seat Brooklyn restaurant, Clover Hill, reopened in early 2022 and received a Michelin star the same year — making Mitchell one of the few Black chefs in the country who holds that distinction.

“I love dishes with an act of discovery to them,” Mitchell said. “You don’t see everything until you really get into the dish. I like things that are fun to eat, with big, bold flavors and a playful feel. I like a mixture of textures, something that makes you think as you’re eating.”

This Indigenous Community Was Deemed 'Extinct.' Now Its Food Is Proving Otherwise.

“We want people to walk away from every meal understanding our community much more than they did when they first came in. There’s so much ignorance, some of it willful. But we want to lift up the knowledge that’s been passed down from our elders and our community,” Trevino says. He grew up with a deep understanding of his roots, passed down from his grandparents, who are now both in their late 80s. And despite the apocalyptic levels of gentrification in the Bay Area, Medina’s family has never moved...

Black Southern food isn’t killing us

Is Black Southern cuisine — often reduced to the simple term “soul food” — unhealthy or “low-vibration“? Or is it not high blood pressure that runs in your family, but the “plate,” as actress and vegan food influencer Tabitha Brown reportedly said recently? It’s a tired debate, but it is necessary since ignorance runs deep.

But Black food is not killing Black people.

Black Southern food is seasonal, healthy, nuanced, and rich with culture and meaning. Systemic racism — in the form of food dese

Chef Asma Khan Wants To Seek Justice Through Food

Chef Asma Khan’s favorite line of poetry is from 11th century Persian poet Omar Khayyam: “Did the hand, then, of the Potter shake?”

“In Islam, we look at the Potter as God. Human beings are all made with clay and water,” Khan tells Sweet July. “The message is: You are created in his mold. His hands didn’t shake when you were created. You will shine and you will conquer the world.”

This poem is a guiding light in Khan’s deeply political culinary philosophy.

I’m a Professional Travel Writer—and I’ve Sworn Off Flying

After almost four days at sea, as I sat across from two Norwegian 20-somethings on the leather sofa in the cigar room wearing a frumpy sweater and pushing my glasses up my nose, I realized I had forgotten how to talk to people my own age. I didn’t have exact numbers for the average age of passengers aboard Cunard’s Queen Mary II, but here, 65-year-olds represented the wild youth. The most popular activities were bridge and square dancing. I heard others speak casually about living through World War II.

Ifrah Ahmed Is Spreading Somali Culture One Pop-Up At A Time

Last year, for the LA Times, Ahmed shared her recipe for salmon sambuus—a dish that combined her Somali—sambuus are usually filled with meat and vegetables, sometimes tuna—and Pacific Northwest background. “That recipe was a collaboration,” she says. “I would ask my mom, ‘What did you put in the sambuus?’ And then I would tweak it according to my own taste or what ingredients I thought would parallel.”

You Haven’t Seen a Western Like ‘Nope’—That’s Exactly the Problem

In the 19th century, an estimated one in four cowboys were Black, but you’d never know from reading and watching western books and films. This canon has served as an act of cinematic and literary nationalism, portraying cowboys of the Old West as white, craggy men of few words and many pistols. And when Black and Indigenous people, in particular, have been included, the genre has relied on spectacle and romanticization that has demonized, tokenized, or fetishized them...

At Her New Orleans Restaurant, Chef Nina Compton Merges The Best Of Caribbean And Creole

In Saint Lucia, as it is in other parts of the African diaspora, storytelling and folktales hold a sacred importance. One cultural figure to emerge from the eastern Caribbean island, colonized by the British and the French, is Compère Lapin, French for “brother rabbit.” In Saint Lucian folktales, he’s a mischievous rabbit that often fools his fellow animals.
Compère Lapin also happens to be a popular figure for Creole communities in the U.S., specifically New Orleans

With a Menu of Indigenous Ingredients, Owamni Is a Must-Visit Dining Destination

From the moment I approached Owamni, a Native American restaurant in downtown Minneapolis, I experienced a clear mental and spiritual shift. The weathered white stone building along the Mississippi has a calming effect, with inviting warm white lights and fire pits smoldering outside. As I entered, the smell of burning sage drifted through my mask.

Owamni is one of the most exciting new restaurants in the country, and to say it is a sacred place is no exaggeration. That’s how life and work part

Rediscovering the Pleasure of Train Travel Post-Vaccine

After I got my COVID-19 vaccine, Chicago’s Union Station quickly became the center of my life. I never fly, due to an intense fear and a zealous belief that as humans, the sky is none of our business and we should stay out of it. But the isolation of lockdown made me determined to travel. So I moved to Chicago to be closer to the country’s busiest Amtrak train station.

I ditched the Denver apartment I’d been locked in while I wrote a book, waiting for the salvation of a vaccine. As I wrote and

Learning a New Language Can Help Us Escape Climate Catastrophe

Jakelin Troy belongs to the Ngarigu people of the Snowy Mountains in southeastern Australia. She says her language, in the 19th century. It is nearly extinct. Snow is a core part of Ngarigu culture and language. Much of that intricate knowledge is lost. “I don’t know how to talk about snow in the way my ancestors would have,” Troy, a professor of Indigenous languages, said. “I can only try to do it in English.” The suppression and destruction of Indigenous languages, as well as global English dominance, is a core part of environmental destruction.

Invasion Day is a day of mourning for Indigenous Australians. The bushfires make this year extra poignant.

The raging bushfires in Australia have been unimaginably devastating for the whole country — at least 29 people have been killed, over 2,500 homes and 27 million acres have gone up in flames, and 1 billion animals are estimated dead.

What has received far less attention in the media is how the fires have affected the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. The fires are concentrated in New South Wales, which is home to the largest population of Indigenous people in Australia.