An intimate celebration of New Orleans food and its Black culture from a born-and-raised local chef.
Toya Boudy’s father grew up in the Magnolia projects of New Orleans; her mother shared a tight space with five siblings uptown. They worked hard, rotated shifts, and found time to make meals from scratch for the family. In Cooking for the Culture, Boudy shares these recipes, many of which are deeply rooted in the proud Black traditions that shaped her hometown. Driving the cookbook are her personal stories: from struggling in school to having a baby at sixteen, from her growing confidence in the kitchen to her appearances on Food Network. The cookbook opens with Sweet Cream Farina, prepared at the crack of dawn for girls in freshly ironed clothes—being neat and pressed was important. Boudy recounts making cookies from her commodity box peanut butter; explains the know-how behind Smothered Chicken, Jambalaya, and Red Gravy; and shares her original television competition recipes. The result is a deeply personal and unique cookbook.