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Author Discussion with Michael Twitty
Join the Joy Trip Reading Project for our fifth online discussion with Michael Twitty author of the Cooking Gene. This remarkable book is the story of Michael’s personal mission to document the connection between food history and family history from Africa to America, from slavery to freedom.  Begun in 2011, this writing project successfully garnered funding and significant media attention in 2012 to initiate a journey known as The Southern Discomfort Tour.  The project and tour continue as Michael visits sites of cultural memory, does presentations on his journey, and visits places critical to his family history while conducting genealogical and genetic research to discover his roots and food heritage.  Michael believes that Terroir is in Your Genes. Food is also extremely culturally connected and inherently economic and political.  It is a proving ground for racial reconciliation and healing and dialogue.  The Cooking Gene seeks to connect the whole of the Southern food family–with cousins near and far–by drawing all of us into the story of how we got here and where we are going.

Michael W. Twitty (born 1977) is an African-American Jewish writer, culinary historian and educator. He is the author of The Cooking Gene, published by HarperCollins/Amistad, which won the 2018 James Beard Foundation Book Award for Book of the Year as well as the category for writing. The book was also a finalist for The Kirkus Prize in nonfiction, the Art of Eating Prize and a Barnes and Noble New Discoveries finalist in nonfiction.

Author discussions on the Joy Trip Reading Project are made possible thanks to the support of the University of Wisconsin Madison Nelson Institute of Environmental Studies, Seirus Innovations and Outdoor Research. If you have questions or need any additional information write to

May 26, 2021 05:00 PM in Central Time (US and Canada)

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