In the past few weeks since author Nancie McDermott gave her outrageously wonderful donaton to The Cooking Gene, and since my friend Sandor Katz started talking it up, there have been a lot of good connections flowing around The Cooking Gene.  And yes as always–here is the link:

To those who are seeing this site for the first time, The Cooking Gene is my project going to the Deep South to find my ancestors and the places they lived while telling the story of slavery through food and telling the story of the African American contribution to American and Southern food through my family history.  We will be working with projects that enhance contemporary practices in regards to food, food history and awareness and food justice.  It is my belief that history is important to learn about and a joy to explore–but only once its put to work for the good of those living to the benefit of those who are to come.

Since this project caught on, well wishes and retweets have come from Matt and Ted Lee (the Lee Brothers) who I hope I get to meet per their invitation in Charleston, Frances Mayes, author of Under the Tuscan Sun, and others including my newfound friends Chrystal and Amir at the Duo Dishes blog.  I may well have a guest blog on their site in the next week so keep your eyes peeled!  After all this love floating around, I get a nice little shock after Hebrew school on Sunday morning….an email arrives stating: “Michael Pollan Just Tweeted About You.”

And what did Michael Pollan say in 140 letters or less?:

Summer plans? Check out the “Southern Discomfort Culinary Tour,” an exploration of slavery and food.

In Jewish tradition, a scholar may be nicknamed after his most well known or best work.  My name for Michael Pollan is The Omnivore’s Dilemma.  Looking over my shoulder at the groaning book shelf I see the book and I look at this screen and go—hey Omnivore’s Dilemma–thank you 🙂

We are thirteen days away from our campaign’s close.  This has been a busy, exhilirating, exhausting, trying, complicated, painful, joyful, wonderful, draining process–but its not over and the next 13-12 days are going to be some of the most stressful I’ve ever lived and hopefully the most prayerful and the most spiritual and the most focused and directed.  Before I plea some more I want to take the opportunity to give out some more gratitude and send a special message out:

  • Thank you to all of my long time friends, supporters, allies and followers.  You did your part–you donated, you spread the word, you talked to friends, you networked and you did it because you have good hearts, minds and souls and I can’t thank you enough.  You are angels.
  • Thank you to my new found friends and followers and people who said–wow I’ve never heard of this guy but this sounds amazing….thank you for the above and trusting me and giving me a mandate to fulfill.
  • I believe in the Universe’s cosmic ability to get things done.  This project started when I was a little kid and asked, “What is a slave?  Why were we slaves?”  It came at the tail end of years of frustrating and grinding setbacks and hardships over a meal with a friend at a Thai restaurant where I asked the question, “Will this work?”  It was just an idea I was excited about, a life’s dream I wanted to fulfill, and a mission I felt I needed to speak to.  And now before my very eyes people are making it happen–people are making it real.  I don’t know what to say anymore than thank you and I know that in the next two weeks I can look myself in the mirror and say–all that was great but now it’s time to start the rest of my life in food—it’s time.

This posting will go out to a lot of people.  In some cases that will overlap…If everybody who has not donated, who has the means, donated say 18 dollars or more–this project would be funded overnight.  It’s that simple.  Michael Pollan’s tweet was like gold–it pushed us to over 3,500 in donations.  If we are short one cent, the deal we as other campaigners made with Indiegogo is that we will get our money minus that for campaigns that don’t make their goal.  If we make our goal and then some–we get a bonus and its more favorable to us. 

Trending for Twitty on Tuesday –May 1st…..

If you are on Facebook, Twitter, or Linked or a blogger-esp WordPress-In we ask you to post our link to your blog and tell people about it through your means

In the spirit of love and generosity we are finishing scouting out projects we will give money to fund before our campaign is up.  The Universe is not a place of need and want, and there is plenty of everything to go around if we can conceive it and try.  We are distributing small donations to 18 campaigns to make sure they know we want them to succeed and want their dreams to come true.  We hope that this will encourage people to support them as well and that the karma will continue to flow.  We know that all of you who have written in and donated and networked have done a lot–but as we push to the last week—we need you to spread the word even more.  Your word of mouth–will be the greatest gift after your donation that we can get towards making this happen.

We may be doing a quick Kickstarter once this is done for a pilot for a cooking show–and we hope to film the pilot on the road with a quality crew, etc. –but first we have to make sure we can get on the road and do this….

From my Ancestors and Me:  Thank You.  May all the blessings be overflowing.  For everyone.

Help Us, Help Everyone:

1 comment on “Michael Pollan’s Tweet about The Cooking Gene

  1. Reblogged this on NEXT Steps Youth Entrepreneur Program and commented:
    I simply find this project to be as fascinating as Michael’s stories about his geneology. I had the pleasure of talking with him two weeks ago and enjoyed listening to the high-spirited passion that leaped through the phone. Like Michael, my goal is to celebrate the key role food plays during rituals that depict the symbolic meanings of triumph, perseverance, courage, community, diversity and love. The Cooking Gene project helps to educate me in understanding how food universally and magically transforms differences into unifying bonds amongst strangers. Please take a moment to read about Michael’s most recent successes then contribute (a little or a lot) to The Cooking Gene Project: Southern Discomfort Culinary Tour. Your support goes further to help NEXT Steps launch our first Youth Culinary Tour this summer.


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