Michael W. Twitty is a culinary historian and food writer from the Washington D.C. area. He blogs at Afroculinaria.com. Michael has appeared on Bizarre Foods America with Andrew Zimmern, Many Rivers to Cross with Dr. Henry Louis Gates, and has lectured to over 450 groups. He has served as a judge for the James Beard Awards and is a fellow with the Southern Foodways Alliance and TED, and was the first Revolutionary in Residence at The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. Southern Living named him one of “Fifty People Changing the South and the Root.com added him to their 100 most influential African Americans under 45 – and as he says “Beyonce beat him out as number one!” He also made the Jewish Forwards list of most influential American Jews. HarperCollins released his book, The Cooking Gene, in 2017, tracing his ancestry through food from Africa to America and from slavery to freedom – a finalist for The Kirkus Prize and The Art of Eating Prize and a third place winner of Barnes & Noble’s Discover New Writer’s Awards in Nonfiction. THE COOKING GENE WON the 2018 James Beard Award for best writing as well as book of the year, making him the first Black author so awarded. His piece on visiting Ghana in Bon Appetit was included in Best Food Writing in 2019 and was nominated for a 2019 James Beard Award.
Sponsored by the Program in African American History