Black Chef Spotlight: My Grandmother

Ode To the Black Chef presents our first chef highlight: My Grandmother, Elizabeth Jones, the first person who taught me the true meaning of soul food.

Before I idolized Enda Lewis, I idolized Elizabeth. Before I knew Leah Chase, I knew Elizabeth. Before I would follow the recipes of Malinda Russel, I learned to pick and wash collards and turnips for thanksgiving in Elizabeth’s kitchen. Before I would go on to acquire the skills, I needed to be a professional chef, I learned how to cook with my heart and through my soul with my grandmother Elizabeth.

It is my honor and privilege to share the recipes and stories of my family through the food that first made me want to dedicate my life to being a chef & why I am here writing this blog today. The food my grandmother taught me to cook has generations of my ancestors wrapped into from the fields and shores of Mississippi, Alabama & South Carolina all the way to the the coast of Nigeria, The Congo, Benin & Ghana. Over the next four weeks, I will introduce you all to my reasons through the woman who I owe my every bit of gratitude I can express. Before I can teach the world about the culinary giants that came before me as an African American chef, I must start with the first person to put a spoon in my hand. I hope you all enjoy and learn to love her food as much as I do. Our first recipe drops this Sunday.