Hoppin’ John on hoppin’ john

Hoppin’ John on hoppin’ john

June 12, 2010; New Orleans: It’s been 8 years since I gave this talk at the first BEANS + RICE conference presented by the Historic New Orleans Collection and the Ray Charles Program at Dillard University.  The “Culinary and Cultural Odyssey” was a day-long event featuring talks by scholars, professors, a documentary filmmaker, culinary historians, a grower, a distributor, chefs, an archaeologist, a curator, and food and...

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Other writing

Other writing

OTHER WRITING   In this section you’ll find all sorts of articles, not just about food, but about friendship and family, neighbors and whatnot. There are academic pieces, such as this one on Cheese Straws, as well as my ruminations about my 30+ year friendship with the band, the B-52s. Articles get updated, changed, and moved around, so be sure to browse through the site. Click on the links under the Other Writing heading, on the...

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Mrs. Fisher’s Cigarettes

Mrs. Fisher’s Cigarettes

This article appears in the Fall 2012 issue of Gastronomica: While researching a book devoted to the oft-maligned but secretly adored subject of fried foods, I was drawn to What Mrs. Fisher Knows About Old Southern Cooking.  Abby Fisher was an African American cook of wide renown in Victorian San Francisco. Remarkably, the city’s Women’s Co-operative Printing Office published the collection of her recipes in 1881. The book remained...

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Hoppin’ John

Hoppin’ John

The following article appears in the Winter 2011 Issue of Gastronomica, and is based on a lecture I gave at the first Beans + Rice conference at the Historic New Orleans Collection. Deconstructing My Namesake by John Martin Taylor             In 1985 I was apprenticing with Nach Waxman at his Kitchen Arts & Letters in New York, preparing to open my own culinary bookstore...

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On Intolerance

On Intolerance

  I’ve always believed that the real root of all evil is when any one human being thinks that he or she is better than any other. Having been told by Christians my entire life that Christ is “the only answer,” and watching Islamic radicals attack everyone else as “infidels,” I approach all religions with trepidation. Faith demands a suspension of disbelief that defies the reason and logic that anchored my scientist parents’...

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Why I Don’t Make Wedding Cakes

Why I Don’t Make Wedding Cakes

Why I Don’t Make Wedding Cakes  In 1993, I had just met my partner Mikel, and life was good. My first book was being raved about in the press, even a year after its debut, and I was at work on my exciting second project, which took me all over the South. My best friend Dana Downs was thinking about moving to Charleston, my sister was running my shop for me, and I had offers from a dozen publishers wanting a book from me. Charleston had...

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