Cybille St. Aude-Tate, Omar Tate, Valerie Erwin, Monica O’Connell come together to talk about an event they collaborated on titled Exploring Black Spirituality Through Food. It was a relaxed, love-filled dinner examining the intersections and histories of Black spirituality and religion as they relate to food. They talk about the art, dishes, stories, and symbolism that made the event evocative.
Chef and artist Omar Tate and chef and author Cybille St. Aude-Tate co-founded Honeysuckle Projects, a multifaceted food company that focuses on the nuanced cultures and cuisines of the Black diaspora. Valerie Erwin is a longtime Philadelphia chef and social justice activist who, for 12 years, owned the critically acclaimed Geechee Girl Rice Cafe. She now serves on the board of C-CAP, a culinary scholarship program for high school students, and on the board of the Philadelphia Interfaith Hospitality Network, an anti-homelessness organization. Monica Hairston O’Connell is a journeyer, baker, writer, and death doula. She is interested in using food (and cake in particular) as a way to remember forward ideas about ceremony, ritual, care (work), hospitality, Black joy, nostalgia, death and grief, and culturally-informed definitions of “seasonal,” “local,” and “sustainable.”
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