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JAMES BEARD AWARD WINNER • IACP AWARD WINNER • IACP BOOK OF THE YEAR • NAMED ONE OF THE BEST COOKBOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The New York Times Book Review • The New Yorker • NPR • Chicago Tribune • The Atlantic • BuzzFeed • Food52
Throughout her career, Toni Tipton-Martin has shed new light on the history, breadth, and depth of African American cuisine. She’s introduced us to black cooks, some long forgotten, who established much of what’s considered to be our national cuisine. After all, if Thomas Jefferson introduced French haute cuisine to this country, who do you think actually cooked it?
In Jubilee, Tipton-Martin brings these masters into our kitchens. Through recipes and stories, we cook along with these pioneering figures, from enslaved chefs to middle- and upper-class writers and entrepreneurs. With more than 100 recipes, from classics such as Sweet Potato Biscuits, Seafood Gumbo, Buttermilk Fried Chicken, and Pecan Pie with Bourbon to lesser-known but even more decadent dishes like Bourbon & Apple Hot Toddies, Spoon Bread, and Baked Ham Glazed with Champagne, Jubilee presents techniques, ingredients, and dishes that show the roots of African American cooking—deeply beautiful, culturally diverse, fit for celebration.
Praise for Jubilee
“There are precious few feelings as nice as one that comes from falling in love with a cookbook. . . . New techniques, new flavors, new narratives—everything so thrilling you want to make the recipes over and over again . . . this has been my experience with Toni Tipton-Martin’s Jubilee.”—Sam Sifton, The New York Times
“Despite their deep roots, the recipes—even the oldest ones—feel fresh and modern, a testament to the essentiality of African-American gastronomy to all of American cuisine.”—The New Yorker
“Jubilee is part-essential history lesson, part-brilliantly researched culinary artifact, and wholly functional, not to mention deeply delicious.”—Kitchn
“Tipton-Martin has given us the gift of a clear view of the generosity of the black hands that have flavored and shaped American cuisine for over two centuries.”—Taste
African American cooks were not strangers in the kitchens of the Old South, but white southerners often failed to acknowledge their contributions. One of the first exceptions was Kentucky socialite Minnie C. Fox, who recognized the significant influence and importance of the African American cooks and wrote The Blue Grass Cook Book, first published in 1904.
From biscuits and hams to ice creams and puddings, this cookbook is a collection of over three hundred recipes from family and friends, including black cooks, near Minnie Fox's Bourbon County, Kentucky, family estate and her Big Stone Gap, Virginia, home. In Fox's time, the culinary history of black women in the South was usually characterized by demoralizing portraits of servants toiling in "big house" kitchens. In contrast, The Blue Grass Cook Book, with its photographs of African American cooks at work and a passionate introduction by Fox's brother, respected Kentucky novelist John Fox Jr., offers insight into the complex bond between well-to-do mistresses and their cooks at the turn of the century.
Toni Tipton-Martin's new introduction provides in-depth commentary on the social, cultural, and historical context of this significant cookbook. She presents background information on the Fox family and their apparently uncommon appreciation for the African Americans of their time. She reveals the vital role of the black cooks in the preparation and service required in establishing the well-known Southern hospitality tradition.