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Bryant Terry: Vegetable Kingdom



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Plant-based. Vegetable-forward. These terms have become more and more popular in a culinary world now obsessed with sustainable eating. But what if these ideas are hardly new? What if they have deep cultural roots around the world that often go underacknowledged or underappreciated?

Bryant Terry is the chef-in-residence at the Museum of the African Diaspora in San Francisco. His newest cookbook, Vegetable Kingdom, is a beautiful homage to Black and Afro culinary traditions that emphasize plant-based cooking. Music, also finds itself front and center in this book. Each recipe features a song to cook to, and the entire playlist can be found here.

At a time where physical distancing means we’re often staying indoors, this conversation is sure to offer something special for all of us. Bryant shares more in this collaborative episode with the Table Underground’s Tagan Engel, detailing the ways in which his cookbook and work advocate for a more just, resilient food system.

Bryant’s visit to campus came as part of our “Cooking Across the Black Diaspora” series, a themed line-up for Chewing the Fat. The series commemorates Black History Month, and the 50th anniversary for both the Afro-American Cultural Center and Yale Department of African American Studies. Chief co-sponsors include the Afro-American Cultural Center at Yale, and the Yale Center for the Study of Race, Indigeneity, and Transnational Migration, with Saybrook College, LoveFed New Haven, People Get Ready! Books, and the Table Underground also supporting Bryant’s visit.

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Chewing the Fat is a podcast from the Yale Sustainable Food Program. We cover people making change in the complex world of food and agriculture. We’re home to brilliant minds: activists, academics, chefs, entrepreneurs, farmers, journalists, policymakers, and scientists (to name a few!). Taken together, their work represents a reimagining of mainstream food movements, challenging myths and tropes as well as inspiring new ways of collaborating.

The podcast is an aural accompaniment to our on-campus Chewing the Fat speaker series, aiming to broaden our content beyond New Haven. Episodes are released every two weeks, featuring interviews, storytelling and more.

On the farm, in the classroom, and around the world, the Yale Sustainable Food Program (YSFP) grows food-literate leaders. We create opportunities for students to experience food, agriculture, and sustainability as integral parts of their education and everyday lives. For more information, please visit sustainablefood.yale.edu.