Chef Mashama Bailey on recovering African-American food

This week, Lilah travels to Savannah, Georgia to visit Chef Mashama Bailey. Mashama recently won Outstanding Chef at the James Beard Awards. Since 2014, she has been the chef and partner of The Grey, a restaurant located in a former segregationist bus station. And it’s redefining American cuisine by returning to its African-American roots. But because so much of this history has not been documented, how do we find and preserve it, and also develop it? Mashama explains his creative process. We also speak with Netflix docuseries host Stephen Satterfield High on the pork. Stephen is the founder of Whetstone Media, which is dedicated to tracing food stories back to their original roots.

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Links and mentions of the episode:

Article written by Lilah on Mashama in the FT Magazine:

Mashama and his business partner John O Morisano’s memoir on The Gray is called Black, white and gray

Stephane is the founder of whetstone magazine and Whetstone Media. You can learn more about

Whetstone Radio Collective offers a suite of podcasts:

Dr. Jessica B Harris’ seminal book on the history of African-American food is called High on the Hog: A Culinary Journey from Africa to America

Edna Lewis is considered the first lady of Southern cuisine. His groundbreaking cookbook, published in 1976, is titled The taste of country cooking

Lilah also recommends Bryant Terry’s 2021 cookbook black food, and the work of Michael W Twitty. Michael is on Instagram at @thecookinggene and has an excellent Masterclass session on find your roots through food

Mashama is on Instagram at @mashamabailey. Stephane is at @isawstephen

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Original music by Metaphor Music. Mixing and sound design by Breen Turner and Sam Giovinco.

Read a transcript of this episode on

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