Barack Obama ceremoniously opened the US's first ever Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture this month, and it looks like equal thought was given to the on site Sweet Home Cafe showcasing the rich culture and history of African Americans with a thoughtfully designed menu and environs.
Well known TV chef Carla Hall took up the reins as culinary ambassador positioning food as central to the story of the museum. “It’s not just here to show off the food, it’s also to nurture your soul and your heart and your belly,” she told Time. The research and writings of culinary leader Jessica B. Harris, PhD were also fundamental in ensuring historical culinary accuracy.
Managing the kitchen is Executive Chef Jerome Grant, delivering authentic dishes to traditional recipes. “We identify ourselves as an exhibition piece ... We’re here to tell stories of African American culture through food,” he told Tasting Table
Four distinct geographical food stations each tell the story of the US food culture: The Agricultural South, The Creole Coast, The North States and The Western Range.
According to the The Washington Post, amongst the crush of visitors during the first week the biggest appetite was for for fried chicken and shrimp and grits.
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