Michael Twitty for MasterClass

Michael Twitty, two-time James Beard Award-winning writer and author of “The Cooking Gene,” will teach a digital class tracing your roots through food. 

Through the platform MasterClass, Twitty will guide members on how cuisine can help them discover their unique cultural and familial history, the streaming platform announced last week. 

“Michael is a culinary historian who has revolutionized the way we understand what we eat,” said David Rogier, founder and CEO of MasterClass. “He roots his class in his personal journey, teaching members how to see food as the lens and vehicle for understanding who we are, where we come from and how to preserve a family legacy.”

In his class, Twitty will teach members how to discover, track and document their family food histories through storytelling, genealogy and writing. 

By uncovering the unspoken truths of African-American food culture and its influence throughout history, Twitty shares that to pass down our food legacies, we must confront our ancestors’ good and bad histories. 

Using his book as an example, he will teach members why preserving and promoting family food history remains critical. 

“As someone with many intersections of identities – Black, gay, Jewish, Southern, male – all of those things put together means that if my experience is something rich and worthy of dialogue, so is yours,” Twitty said. 

Not new to Twitty, he’s been exploring food identities since 2010, with the launch of Afroculinaria, a culinary history blog dedicated to exploring and educating readers on African and African-American foodways.

“Understanding the culinary journey of our ancestors gives us something to be proud of and in my class, I will teach members how to preserve their ancestors’ legacy and continue telling their story through food,” he said. 

One of the ways Twitty will do so includes breaking down the meaning of “foodways” – inherited cultural and social practices surrounding food. 

He will also share the history of foodways during the transatlantic slave trade and the antebellum South. 

An exploration of the role of cultural appropriation and environmental racism on African-American culinary creations will be part of the class’s core, along with a step-by-step guide on how to interview family members to create one’s own DNA story through cuisine.

Twitty will also discuss authentic soul food and teach members how to cook traditional recipes such as black-eyed pea fritters and okra, corn and tomato “stew.” 

“Members will walk away with a new appreciation of preserving food experiences past and present to not only uncover their food story but deepen their relationship with their family and culture,” MasterClass said. 

Twitty’s class is now available exclusively on MasterClass, where subscribers get unlimited access to all 150+ instructors with an annual membership.

Sarafina Wright –Washington Informer Staff Writer

Sarafina Wright is a staff writer at the Washington Informer where she covers business, community events, education, health and politics. She also serves as the editor-in-chief of the WI Bridge, the Informer’s...

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