Welcome to the deliciously diverse world of Afros and Knives, the podcast where we put the spotlight on the incredible Black women making waves in the food and beverage industry. Join host, chef, producer, and filmmaker Tiffani Rozier for insightful interviews with chefs, wine producers, food writers, educators, and more. From talented chefs to wine wizards, food educators to culinary wordsmiths, we've got it all.
But this podcast is about more than just the food - it's about the people behind it. By celebrating and elevating the voices and stories of Black women in hospitality, we honor their immeasurable contributions to these industries and inspire a new generation to follow in their footsteps. Get ready to be inspired, engaged, and entertained as we explore the rich tapestry of experiences and perspectives that make Black women such an essential part of the food and beverage world. As the great Edna Lewis once said, "Be true to yourself and those you love and work hard with passion and conviction." We couldn't agree more.
Delving into High on the Hog with Dr. Jessica B. Harris
What happens when a culinary historian, a professor, an author, and a journalist unite to explore the transformative power of African American cuisine? We were fortunate enough to find out during our incredible conversation with Dr. Jessica B. Harris, whose groundbreaking book High on the Hog has now been adapted into a Netflix limited series. Join us as we delve into Dr. Harris' journey to becoming a food historian, her experience on screen, and her openness to acting.
Have you ever wondered how languages can bridge cultural divides? During our discussion with Dr. Harris, we touched upon her travels around the world and the importance of learning foreign languages to better understand other cultures. She shared her experiences in China, the significance of pigs in the Chinese diet, and her book High on the Hog. We also explore the concept of using subtitles to watch foreign films as a way to practice and enhance language skills.
Finally, we dive into the powerful and emotional experiences of African-Americans visiting sites of mass burial in Western Africa. Dr. Harris shares her profound insights on the House of the Slaves at Goree Island and how these visits have shaped people's understanding of their ancestral history. We discuss the significance of capturing these moments in culture and how they can be seen as a source of power and survival. Join us for this enlightening and moving conversation with Dr. Jessica B. Harris.
0:00:02 - High on the Hog (34 Seconds)
0:11:22 - Language Learning and Connection (83 Seconds)
0:17:20 - Sharing Vulnerability and Emotional Support (66 Seconds)
0:26:20 - Upcoming Book Projects and Retirement Renaissance (123 Seconds)
2. The Future of Food: A Conversation with Top Chef Junior Finalist Rahanna Bisseret Martinez
On this episode of the Afros and Knives podcast, host Tiffani Rozier interviews Rahanna Bisseret Martinez, a young chef who was a finalist on Top Chef Junior and now cookbook author. Rihanna shares how she first started cooking with her mom in the kitchen and how that sparked her interest in cooking. She also talks about her experience on Top Chef Junior and how she didn't expect the opportunities that have come her way since the show. Rihanna shares her aspirations of owning her own restaurant someday. The conversation is both aspirational and re-energizing, showcasing the talent and capability of young people like Chef Martinez in the culinary industry.
00:04:37 Hospitable kitchens are inspiring.
00:09:17 Support diverse cuisines.
00:11:50 Explore local cuisines.
00:15:19 Explore new opportunities in food.
Sowing Change in the City: Jamila Norman's Quest for Equity and Sustainability in the Urban Food System
Jamila Norman is an urban farmer, environmental engineer, and founder of Patchwork City Farms from Atlanta. In this episode of Afros and Ives, Jamila shares her inspiring journey from New York to Atlanta, her passion for sustainability, and her journey to create a more equitable and just food system. Jamila reflects on her transition from engineering to farming, the challenges of advocating for her vision, and her story of transforming a blighted piece of property into a food-producing space. She also shares her experience of facing discrimination and land loss and the importance of securing food, clothing, and shelter for communities. Jamila also talks about manifesting her dream to own a farm property, the process of getting her show on the Magnolia Network, and the importance of passing down knowledge to younger generations. Her story is one of magic and resilience.
• Jamila is passionate about creating a more equitable and just food system
• Discrimination and land loss faced by black farmers
• She got her show on the Magnolia Network through a production company
• Jamila emphasizes the importance of passing down knowledge to younger generations
Auzerais Bellamy: From Bouchon Bakery to Nationwide Blondies
In this episode, Auzerais Bellamy shares her story of growing up in a family of restauranteurs, her journey to the Thomas Keller Universe, and the launch of her online business due to the overwhelming demand for her caramel and pecan blondies. We also talk about the difference between the best butter and everybody else's butter, the importance of ingredients, and labor in the culinary industry. Finally, Auzerias shares her journey of pursuing love through self-care, discussing her experience with attachment styles, how she takes time for herself, and the importance of love and leadership in her company.
• She grew up in a family of restauranteurs
• Butter has a melting point of 94 degrees while shortening has around 110
• Surrealism bridges the subconscious and conscious mind
• Pursuing love on multiple levels
• Nourishing work environments
Meet Victoria (Queen V) Butler: Master Blender & Tastemaker of Uncle Nearest
In this episode of the Afros & Knives podcast, Tiffani Rozier interviews Queen Victoria Butler, the master blend and tastemaker, and the great-great-granddaughter of Nearest Green. Queen Bee shares her story of transitioning from her career at the Department of Justice to joining the Uncle Nearest team and how joy, confidence, and curiosity have been essential to her success. Victoria discusses her journey to becoming the first female African-American Master Blender, her brand's commitment to sustainable sourcing, and the importance of creating a welcoming and warm environment for customers.
• Queen Bee was self-taught in whiskey blending and followed her curiosity to achieve excellence
• Uncle Nearest is committed to sustainable sourcing
• The distillery has opened the longest bar in the world
• Fawn is proud that the team stayed together during difficult times
Investor and Serial Entrepreneur Fawn Weaver on Risk-Taking, Strategy, and Legacy
In this episode of Afros and Knives, host Tiffani Rozier interviews investor, serial entrepreneur, and founder and CEO of award-winning whiskey brand Uncle Nearest Fawn Weaver. Weaver discusses her journey from New York Times bestselling author to running a successful whiskey brand and how she encourages risk-taking and strategic thinking in her team. Fawn shares her insights on business planning and strategies for success, such as the importance of doing a SWOT analysis, understanding one's Myers-Briggs personality type, leveraging a life partner for success, and having confidence when pitching to investors. The episode also emphasizes the need to take advantage of the opportunities in front of you, create a business plan, and be well-prepared.
• She encourages risk-taking and strategic thinking
• She is focused on building Uncle Nearest to a place where it is impenetrable
• Leverage a life partner for success
• Take advantage of opportunities
Superb Content-So much value!!
I love this podcast!! Though there aren’t many episodes just yet, each one that I’ve listened to provides outstanding content and it’s incredibly powerful and motivating to hear successful Black Female voices in such male-dominated industries. The ONLY downside to this pod is the audio quality-there are moments where audio is completely cut out or there is severe overlap between the host question and the interviewees answer. It’s very distracting and we’re missing vital info! But this is a show that’s needed and I have already shared with some of my favorite women!