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Cuisines of Africa and the African Diaspora: Lecture Series Readings

Cuisines of Africa and its Diaspora in the Americas: Virtual Lecture Series

Videos of the Virtual Lecture Series in MainMenu

CIA Students, Staff and Faculty are invited to attend this new virtual lecture series. The series—led by renowned culinary historian Dr. Jessica Harris and a panel of noted chefs, culinary activists and prominent scholars on African cuisines and cultures—kicks off Saturday, Feb. 6.

Organized regionally, each lecture will introduce the variety of cuisines from the African continent and its American Diaspora and includes nine distinct lectures on topics ranging from African American foodways and West African cuisines to Afro-Caribbean cultures and ingredients, and more. Grounded in history and geography, the lectures will focus on culinary technology and technique, diversity of flavors, flavor profiles, eating culture and commensal behaviors, major ingredients, staples, and recipes. A library of resources, including cookbooks, videos, and more will accompany each lecture.

The virtual lectures will be held on consecutive Saturdays, at 11:00 a.m. ET:
(10:00 a.m. CT/ 8:00 a.m. PT)

February 6:

Dr. Jessica Harris—Culinary Connections out of Africa

February 13 &
February 20:

Chef Pierre Thiam and Peter Kim—On the Continent
- West & Central Africa

February 27: 

Dr. Maricel Presilla—Overview of Latin America

March 6:  

Dr. Scott Alves Barton—Brazil

March 13: 

Von Diaz—Spanish-speaking Caribbean

March 20:

DeVonn Francis—Jamaica; Haiti, and French-speaking Caribbean

April 10: 

Chef Kevin Mitchell—Antebellum South - from Virginia to NOLA

April 17: 

Chef Therese Nelson—Postbellum South and Great Migration

This program will form the foundation of a new bachelor’s concentration in African Cuisines, which is currently in development, and will be available to students in 2022.

We hope that you will take advantage of this wonderful opportunity to develop an expanded global perspective on the rich history and traditions of African cuisines and cultures.

Dr. Denise Bauer
Dean – School of Liberal Arts
& Food Studies

Chef Brendan Walsh
Dean – School of Culinary Arts
and Baking and Pastry Arts


The Culinary Institute of America | Conrad N. Hilton Library | 1946 Campus Drive | Hyde Park, NY 12538-1430
Telephone: 845-451-1747 | Email: library@culinary.edu