Serving Up: Essays on food, identity and culture

By Zoe Adjonyoh

A new and vital food-inspired anthology examining the politics behind what we eat.

Food & drink | Politics
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Serving Up: Essays on food, identity and culture is a new and vital anthology, exploring the intersections between the personal and the political when it comes to food.

Step onto your local High Street and you’re sure to find anything you want to eat, from spicy masala dosa to fresh seafood paella. Globalisation means international cuisines are crossing borders at a rapid pace. This exposure to exciting new ingredients and techniques has enabled shortcuts to experiencing different countries and cultures.

And yet existing power structures and privileges are often bypassed when we talk about food. In an industry where restaurateurs emigrating from different countries must modify their recipes to appeal to the masses, and food professionals of colour are constantly ghettoised, Serving Up raises urgent questions about perceptions and prejudice.

Edited by renowned chef, author, activist and public speaker, Zoe Adjonyoh, this collection will feature established and emerging food writers around the globe sharing their experiences of cooking and eating in their daily lives. They'll interrogate the distinction between cultural appropriation and cultural appreciation, how entire cultures are packaged as food trends, and why certain cuisines are perceived as more prestigious than others.

Zoe brings together twenty five prominent voices in food writing today to dissect the politics behind what we eat. They include:

  • Andrew Janjigian: writer, recipe developer, baking instructor, and publisher of Wordloaf.
  • Aproova Sripathi: Chennai-based writer, poet, anthropologist, and co-founder of the independent magazine Cheese.
  • Arianne "A E" Persaud: artist, writer, and founder of Toronto Restaurant Workers Relief Fund.
  • Dorothy Porker: recipe developer, food photographer and writer of cookbook, Nomnomnom.
  • Fatima Tarkleman: zero-waste chef and co-founder of Kitchen Cultures. 
  • Fozia Ismail: scholar, cook, and founder of Arawelo Eats.
  • Hassel Aviles: executive director of Not 9 to 5, a non-profit in the food service sector.
  • Izzie Ramirez: managing editor of Spoon University, writing about food, culture and climate. 
  • Jamila Robinson: Food editor for The Philadelphia Inquirer and journalism chair at James Beard Foundation.
  • Kevin Vaughn: writer, cook, tour operator, and founder of Devour Buenos Aires and magazine Matambre Mag.
  • Klancy Miller: author of Cooking Solo and founder of For the Culture. 
  • Krystal Mack: award winning self-taught baker, writer, and creative consultant.
  • Lee Tran Lam: food writer, podcaster, and editor of New Voices on Food.
  • Lenore Adkins: public diplomacy writer and food journalist.
  • Nicola Miller: freelance features writer and food columnist for the Bury Free Press and editions across East Anglia.
  • Preeti Mistry: chef, author, culinary activist, and owner of Juhu Beach Club in Oakland.
  • Reem Assil: entrepreneur, baker, chef, activist, and owner of Reem's California. 
  • Selasie Dotse: chef, activist, and creator of A Hard Pill to Swallow.
  • Thérèse Nelson: American chef, author, and founder of Black Culinary History.
  • Yasmin Khan: best-selling and award-winning author, broadcaster and campaigner.

Collectively, their essays will examine the evolution of contemporary food culture, offering new insights into how and why we should decolonise our diets, while platforming underrepresented voices in the industry.

Image credits: Design by Mecob. Images: © Nadia Snopek / Shutterstock.com, © Shutterstock.com.

Book designs, cover and other images are for illustrative purposes and may differ from final design.

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  • Zoe Adjonyoh is a chef, writer, entrepreneur and founder of Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen. Zoe has been pioneering modern West African food in the forms of supper clubs (London, Berlin, New York, Accra, Wales), her own restaurant in Brixton, pop-ups, street food and events since 2010. In 2017 she released her debut cookbook - Zoe's Ghana Kitchen, which is now set to be republished and released in the US, Fall 2021.


    Zoe’s mission as always been to bring the great flavours of West Africa to a wider audience and this has been acknowledged through great positive press and publicity for our food and concept, being named as one of 'London’s hottest chefs' by Time Out and being named one of 'The 44 Best Female Chefs' by Hachette Cuisine France. She was honored at the James Beard Foundation In New York and given the Iconoclast Award in 2018 and in February 2019, she was invited to speak at TEDXOxford about Food: Its Importance to Cultural Stepping Stones of Understanding & Exchange.


    At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Zoe converted her entire catering operation into a community kitchen to feed those most impacted by the pandemic (including the NHS staff) in her East London community of Hackney - serving 500 meals per week out of her home. In April 2020, Zoe launched Black Book Global, a representation agency and platform for POC in the food industry. Zoe has just released her new podcast ‘Cooking Up Consciousness’ and is currently launching a new business ‘Zoe’s Spice House’ which is set to debut in 2022. Most recently, Zoe has joined the board at ‘The New American Table’


    You can pre-order the latest edition of Zoe's cookbook here: http://bit.ly/zoesghanakitchenus, and also find Zoe and her various projects on social media: @zoeadjonyoh, @ghanakitchen, @blackbook_2020.
  • It looks like Zoe Adjonyoh has not made any updates yet. Check back soon!

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