MOFAD dinner, Making the Nation’s African/American Table

Over the years we have bid on dinners to have in our home to support an organization and of course have a fabulous meal and we have gone to them too. We went to dinner with chef’s Adrienne Cheatham and Omar Tate‘s fine cooking and special guests at the table were Dr. Jessica B. Harris and Andre Mack. We got a full explanation about the meal, the origins and a bit of a history lesson. It was quite a treat in many ways.

Bread is a constant and the buttermilk biscuits and cornbread madeleines with soft whipped butter were available throughout the meal.

The first dish was tuna carpaccio with puffed rice and mustard seeds. It represented rice from the low country agriculture called Kedgeree. Kedgeree originated back from 14th Century a mixture of rice and fish.

Thomas Downing Oysters, 1826. First, you eat the oyster and then dig into the rich oyster stew that must have begun with a serious dark roux. Rich, layered, and if I closed my eyes I could be in New Orleans.

Northern Missippi Food Culture, Up South. Blackened salmon with collard greens and salmon skin chicharron. A modern take on catfish and greens.

African Americans and Immigrant Cuisine, Grits and Grillades. Braised short ribs over polenta with a creole gravy and a muffuletta relish. The muffuletta relish was so light and mixed in with the heavy dish that lightened the dish in just the most subtle way.

Agency and Professionalism, Philadelphia Gumbo. I do love a good gumbo and this hit the spot even tripe included.

Farm-to-Table before Farm-to-Table, Edna’s Meadow. A mixture of fresh greens that had almost a sweetness to them. If you lived near a farm as many did in the South, you always had farm-to-table.

Black Identity Through Religion, Bean Pie. This was so good that I am scouring the net for a recipe. Great Northern Beans made into a pie filling with nutmeg spices. So light vs a heavy pumpkin pie. Served with a dab of crushed espresso beans with whipped cream.

The additional sweets were sweet potato pie, roasted pineapple upside-down cake and peanut brittle. The peanut brittle was set over a soft chocolate base and caramel. Must have that recipe too.

Totally fun evening. Learned a lot and obviously ate a lot too.

Comments (Archived):

  1. Pointsandfigures

    Looks marvelous. Interesting they served salmon. Have you ever had catfish? We used to catch em when I went to Mississippi as a kid. I liked them then, but detest it now. At the University of Mississippi they have a tremendous historical food program called the Southern Foodways Alliance..

    1. Gotham Gal

      I have had catfish. Prefer salmon

      1. pointsnfigures

        Moi aussi!

  2. awaldstein

    Thanks for this.Love the historical aspect of the table through dishes.What I used to have as a cultural history growing up in a Russian/Polish Jewish home.What we are starting to see amongst the best of the people who truly understand how to educate around wine.

    1. Gotham Gal

      Wine and food from the same plot of land

  3. carriepryor

    Great article. Please post the recipes if you find them!

  4. AMT Editorial Staff

    Was the tuna carpaccio as amazing as it looked? Wow!

    1. Gotham Gal

      it was!