Gravy Episode 6 & the Stories Within Our Cookbooks

What do our cookbook collections say about us?

Toni Tipton Martin.
Toni Tipton Martin.

Toni Tipton Martin’s cookbook collection paints a picture of the past 175+ years of African American history in the U.S.  In the new episode of Gravy, we hear the story of Toni’s cookbook collection—and why its narrative is an important one for the South.

Listen to the story here.

Among the books in Toni’s collection from cooks that deserve more recognition are those by New Orleanian Chef Lena Richard.

Lena Richard's 1939 cookbook.
Lena Richard’s 1939 cookbook.

Richard owned and ran multiple restaurants, started a cooking school, her own frozen foods business, and hosted her own television cooking show in the 1940s. She self published her own cookbook in 1939. However, when it was reissued by Houghton Mifflin, her picture was removed, as was her name from the title.

The different editions of Lena Richard's cookbook.
The different editions of Lena Richard’s cookbook.

Lena Richard’s story is just one window into the way in which black voices were long missing from the mainstream conversation about food. For more, listen to the new episode of Gravy or check out Toni Tipton Martin’s project The Jemima Code.