For many people, Adrian Miller may have a dream job. Researching, documenting, and perhaps most importantly… researching the foods that make up Black culture. For a lawyer that started his career in the Bill Clinton White House, it’s hard to see how you make the turn to becoming James Beard Award winning author. But here we are three books later. Now, we get the pleasure of hearing and learning from a man known as the “Soul Food Scholar” who’s “dropping knowledge like hot biscuits.” (That’s his registered trademark phrase, by the way.)
This discussion with Adrian enlightened me to some aspects of Black food, culture, and even U.S. history that I’d never known. For instance, there was no White House Executive Chef until the Kennedy administration. Until then, the head cook or chef was generally a poorly paid Black person. Of course, if you’ve read Adrian’s book “The President’s Kitchen Cabinet”, then you already know this. So I can’t wait to dive into his latest book “Black Smoke.” As I write this it’s available on pre-order. But it drops to the masses very soon. He gave us a little teaser about what was inside.
There was one other key aspect of our conversation that I really enjoyed. That was hearing about his perspective about the need for Black people to preserve and share our stories about our culture. It’s something that he’s clearly done in all three of his books. And it’s something we strive to do through the Built in Black America Podcast.