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Welcome, Setting the Table!

Published June 27, 2022

Stories and histories of African American cuisine and foodways

We’re doing something new for this week’s episode of Food with Mark Bittman: We’re featuring a show that isn’t ours, but one that we’re fond of. The show is called Setting the Table, and it’s a part of Whetstone Radio, which, as you may remember, was started by our friend Stephen Satterfield, who has been on Food twice now. 

Setting the Table is hosted by Deb Freeman, who is a talented writer and cultural commentator who focuses on the intersection of race, culture, and food. And her show explores the stories and histories of African American cuisine and foodways. The episode we’re featuring today is one that focuses on something you either love or hate (and that feeling can easily change daily) — alcohol. 

Yes, African American foodways have not only influenced the way that Americans eat, but how we drink as well, and this episode will introduce you to the stories and legacies of a celebrated selection of Black brewers and distillers. Mount Vernon’s Steve Bashore shares the history of the enslaved distillers who made George Washington’s Whiskey; historian Theresa McCulla recounts the story of Patsy Young, a runaway slave who was also a brewer; Victoria Eady Butler of Uncle Nearest shares her experiences carrying on the legacy of her Great-Great-Grandfather Nearest Green, and Kim Harris (pictured above) of Harlem Hops tells us how she and her team are supporting diversity in the craft brewing industry.

I hope you enjoy this switch-up. We’ll be back with more Food next week.

Thank you, as always. — Mark

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