Join New York Botanic Garden for a series of rich conversations with prominent authors, chefs, and food historians re-examines and redefines our notions of heritage and identity through food. Moderated by award-winning journalist, culinary historian, and scholar Dr. Jessica B. Harris.

On Friday May 21 culinary icon Carla Hall and food historian Tonya Hopkins set the table for the series with a wide-ranging, entertaining discussion on the food of African Americans and how it has shaped American cuisine and culture. History, heritage, and personal memories come together in an energetic and engaging session.

On Friday June 18 food historian Michael Twitty and Chef JJ Johnson go far and wide to reveal the history and present-day importance of rice on the plate. The African American hand in rice is foundational to American food, from its introduction as a colonial crop to its presence in every cross-cultural cuisine. And of course, they will talk about the food traditions of Juneteenth!

On Friday July 23 storyteller/journalist Von Diaz and food historian/chef Maricel Presilla explore how these culinary cultures discuss how the foods of Puerto Rico, Cuba, and other Caribbean islands with a Spanish colonial past are a culinary and cultural hybrid of Indigenous, African, Spanish, and American ingredients and techniques. The stories they tell reveal a creative response to a complex colonial history.