Cymlings and Okra in Mississippi
Cymlings and Okra in Natchez, Mississippi, Johnathan M. Lewis, 2012

I try my best to reply to all my emails and social media hits but due to the high volume of inquiries I’m not always able to reply to all of them.  Some suggestions:

To book me for speaking engagements,  cooking demonstrations and presentations for mid to large audiences look here.

Facebook: My fan page is Michael W. Twitty.  I’m not the biggest Facebook person but I try to answer my messages there regularly.  This is probably the least effective place to reach me.

Twitter:  I love Twitter and I’m on there every day.  Twitter is a great place to catch my attention.  My handle there is @Koshersoul .

Here! Make a comment and that will get my attention.  If you want to simply share a memory or anecdote, ask a short question, or give me a pat on the back, here is the best place to do that!  Much appreciated!   

Email:  If you want to reach out to me about a consultation, presentation, class or speaking request please specify “Request for,” in your subject line.  These will take priority over other communications.  If you have a longer, more involved question, specify “Question from,” in the subject line.  If you want to talk about partnerships or networking, specify that.  🙂 You get the point.  Right now, I’m working hard to shift into more writing, cooking, growing, researching, thinking, creating and I have to prioritize my correspondence.  I appreciate everybody’s support and interest; but building my business, my brand and planting seeds for the future is where my heart, mind and soul are at the moment.

You can feel free to email me at either or  Again, please try to specify what you need so I can give your email the proper attention it requires.

With Nicole Taylor of Heritage Radio Network in Brooklyn
With Nicole Taylor of Heritage Radio Network in Park Slope, Brooklyn

92 comments on “Contact

  1. Melissa Jones

    Thank you for sharing your knowledge, Michael. I was honored to see your story at the environmental film festival event at American University. You have a global reach-perspective and everyone needs to hear it!



  2. Stan Mitchell

    Loved your article or open letter the the chef in Charleston. Please keep doing what you’re doing. I wish you had a show on the food network to point out the importance of food culturally. Amazing that no one even knows Africans cook. Or that blacks have many subsets in the diaspora. Creole, Gullah, Latino


  3. Kimberly Moore K.C. Moore on facebook

    I just saw your Bio and info on the Black Hedge Fund page and i am definitely going to be following you. I just started culinary arts school this padt summer wanting to learn and create finessed soul food! You have challenged me!!! I am extra motivated to this journey. Im in awe right now. I started a Facebook page on my journey into tjis world of culinary arts!

    If you have any advice I accept it humbly and with great appreciation.


  4. Fredrick Kaludus

    Michael, I want to thank for your work on early American food and I enjoyed you on Jas. Townsend and Son channel. Your right when reactors play the part of the American revolution, War of 1812 and Civil War everyone forgets to think about the slaves that toiled to keep the food cooking, the water flowing and everything else to the primary players. While some slave owners did free there slaves to fight and or serve in the wars. There were far more slave that served without reward. My family were well to do farmers in Virginia from 1700, I know they owned slaves, My first known great grand father had 25 slave and bond servants. We know that he passed these slaves on to his 10 children that survived. the male heirs split the land 4 ways with each sister receiving 5 acres. We don’t know much about the history after 1800 they were not wealthy enough to matter except one if they were kind or cruel but I hope kind I do know one of my ancestors freed his 3 slaves around 1808 while in the Kentucky legislature. But the history that we share no matter what ancestors did it is still the history that built America. Again I want to thank for your work on early American history, focusing on food and the life of the slaves.


  5. Chef Vickie

    I have been watching and following from afar. I’ve seen You in My cookbooks, research with seed companies and now “The Legacy of Nat Turner”.

    My Grandmother catered and I have a lot of Her recipes. My hard work, dedication and You have inspired a cookbook of My own.

    Thank You for your undying devotion and to be able to reference Your work as well as offer You a meal one day would be for me a great honor.


  6. Monalisa Diallo

    I can’t put your book down. I feel like it’s the story of my family! My family is frome Crewe Virginia. I recall my great greatma sitting giving commands to her daughters, and granddaughter(my mom) to clean greens and everything else throughly. I learned how to cook using the memory of sight, smell, and fussing. I hope you enjoyed the walnuts, peppers, and squash I gave you at dovecote. Your book literal brings tears of joy and sighs of “got damn it!!!” Our ancestors hugging all your greatness!!! Thank you…brother


  7. Jo-Ann Leake

    Hello there from Canada. Thanks for including a clip on the Acadians in you book, Michael! I am reading it now and it combines all the areas that I feel passionate about, too. We are a multicultural family and I believe that being so has sensitized us to how it might be living in a world of white privilege. DNA shows us that we truly do not know who we are in all aspects and hopefully one spin off will help us to own all of who we really are. Well done, my friend!


  8. Thomas Landholt, MD

    Question from Tom:. Thanks for writing your fascinating book, it prompts me to request a professional opinion. My recent ancestry (known to the early 18th century) is mostly German, with a smattering of English and French. My maternal grandfather was a second generation German baker here in Saint Louis and he Grandma and 16 kids (did I say Catholic?) lived above the bakery. But my Ancestry DNA sez 50% Scandinavian and 20% Italian. Here’s my question:. Would you suppose that is due to marauding Romans and Norsemen raiding and raping through Europe? While far enough distant that I have no cultural angst about personal family slavery and abuse, though the Germans were passionately against slavery in antebellum Saint Louis. Appreciate your thoughts!


  9. Patricia Stroman Walker

    Michael Twitty, I just want to tell you that I love your book and will be sorry when I finish it because I am enjoying the tales of your journey so much. I picked it up because I love to cook and am curious about my roots, too, and am so glad I did. It makes me more sadly and reluctantly curious than ever about why my last name, a Caucasian whose ancestors came from Germany to Buffalo in the 1800s and did not venture south, is the same as that of many African Americans. I wonder if I’ll ever know the whole story. Thank you again for sharing your tale.
    Very best regards to you, sir.


  10. Jill Furgurson

    I’ve just read back to ‘where it all began’ in Bon Appetit. I can only imagine how important this story is for a person of African ancestory, and I hope it crosses the path of anyone who needs it. As for me, well, I’m thankful it has enlightened my own worldview. As a Montessori elementary teacher doing a year long project on food, I look forward to exploring how your writing might weave into our classroom projects. Power on Mr. Twitty!


  11. Why is there soy sauce in Southern BBQ sauce? It’s very Asian.


    • There has been soy sauce in African Diaspora based cuisines since the 1600s. The Dutch incorporated soy sauce since their engagement with Japan. Soy sauce is not uncommon in the Caribbean and not that uncommon as an additive in modern Southern cuisine.


  12. Maridale Jackson

    Your reference to the crust of rice on the bottom and sides of “most vernacular rice dishes” (page 246 of the paperback edition of The Cooking Gene made me think of the much-desired socarrat on the bottom of paella rice dishes in Spain.


  13. Michael! You were very inspiring today at DC Author Festival. I am super excited to read my signed copy of THE COOKING GENE. Thank you! I am the writer of Sicilian descent who is just now doing her DNA. I will reach out again when the results arrive. As you said, there will be so much to write about!!! Your guidance will be invaluable.


  14. Candace Midgett

    Hi, Michael, writing for OCCRC, Orange County, NC. We’re working with EJI to honor and remember victims of lynching in our county. Our soils collection/libations ceremony at lynching site of Manley Macauley is 11.16.19 here in OC. To have you do food for us would be amazing! I have a tiny budget & big dreams, could treat you to a ride down and back in my Honda Fit, and we could cover food costs. Sounds tempting, right? If you are at all interested, please let me know. It would be amazing to meet you. Big fan of your work in Williamsburg, and of you! Thanks for reading this 🙂
    best, Candace


  15. I teach a high school Culinary Arts class, and have been focusing in more on the origins and “whys” and of different cuisines. “The Cooking Gene”, and the Ted Talks you have given on the origins of Soul Food and Food Sovereignty have been immeasurably helpful towards improving the curriculum; and it has helped me re-examine some of my my own approaches to cooking. Thank you!



    Mr. Michael W. Twitty


    I just completed reading your article on BBC Travel: “How Rice Shaped the American South” (8 March 2021).

    You mentioned that the rice grown in the Carolinas was brought by “enslaved Africans” during 1750 and 1775.

    Would you please comment on the following, which is taken from Saul K. Padover’s book Jefferson (abridged) [New York: New American Library, A Mentor Book, 1942/1970 pp67-68].

    (This took place in 1787 – a dozen years after your 1750-to-1775 timeline.)

    Jefferson… When he reached Marseille he was asking everybody about rice, a superior variety of which he was hoping to plant in America. He got no satisfactory answer, so he decided to find out in northern Italy.

    Jefferson spent his forty-fourth birthday on muleback, crossing the Maritime Alps into Italy. … He was still pursuing rice in Piedmont, but did not find it until he reached Vercelli two days later. “From Vercelli to Novara the fields are all in rice, and now mostly underwater.” Here he made the discovery he was looking for, that the superiority of European rice to American (Carolinian) was inherent in the species, and not, as he thought, due to a better cleaning machine used in Italy.

    Jefferson decided to take with him some of the Piedmontese rice and grow it in America. But to his surprise he was told that he could take rice out of the country only at the risk of his life. There was a death penalty attached to the exportation of rice from Piedmont. Jefferson considered that sort of regulation so arbitrary that he had no scruples about breaking the law. He filled his coat pockets full of rice and then, to make doubly sure that he would get his precious species out of Piedmont, he hired a muleteer to smuggle two sacks of rice across the Apennines to Genoa.

    Thank you,
    Jim “Chip” Foley
    (a reader who likes rice, but is a big fan of Jefferson)


    • Hi, I know very well about Jefferson smuggling rice out of the Po Valley region, in fact I work very closely with Monticello. Im not sure what edit came down but rice was in South Carolina as early as the late 1600s, ca. 1675-1685. O. glaberimma and O. saliva. Jefferson wanted a rice that could be cultivated widely in more temperate environment. In Virginia in the 1690s enslaved Africans were growing rice on the James. Rice was being grown in nearby Maryland as well. Because there are so many varieties each with specific climatic demands, multiple narratives are not only possible but true. Thank you for your comment.


    • Plus risotto rice and perloo rice are not the same. Superiority is, after all, not fact but feeling.


  17. Just finished your book. I am, in a word, speechless. But I will try here to share a few thoughts with you. First, I found your book at the library where I work. I was “reshelving” one day, so came across it quite by accident. It looked intriguing, given my interest in cooking/food, and my southern roots, so I took it home. I read only the first few pages before I returned it to the library and bought my own copy of it! Because I am a librarian, educator, and reader, I have access to many books. And whenever I start reading a book and want to grab my highlighter, I know I have to have my own copy. So first, you are a writer extraordinaire! Many times I highlighted a sentence or a phrase JUST BECAUSE of your wording. . . just so perfect and eloquent. But second, my roots, as I said, are in the South. My mother was, in her words, “poor white trash,” growing up in the cotton mill of Edenton, North Carolina. She was destined to live out her life in the mill village there, until my father, with his own poor-white-West Texas-farm roots, came and whisked her away, while he was stationed in Norfolk. This was the late 30’s. After (barely, honestly) surviving TB, he drove her off to Southern California, where they settled and made their (relative) fortune, in the rug cleaning business. They have long-since passed. I am 70 now. I have made several “pilgrimages” to the South. I have looked into my genealogy to a degree. But I never tire of learning more. Your story, both the personal and the historical, was like food itself. . .so nourishing, so enlightening, sometimes hard to digest. Interestingly, while reading it (I savored it for probably 6 months!), I happened to find the Netflix show, “High on the Hog.” What a treasure. It served to update and add to the visuals of your book. Wish it would have been longer. Anyway, I meant to just say Bravo or something, because I know you must be a very busy person. But here I’ve gone on and on. .. and have SO much more I would like to tell you. But suffice it to say. . .BRAVO! And of course, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, AND THANK YOU! Abbe from Chico, California


  18. I just listened to you MasterClass intro and I can’t wait to watch the rest and read your book. I am eastern European Jewish. My maternal grandparents were from Przemysl, a town that no one ever heard of until CNN started broadcasting from the train station there about Ukrainian refugees. My mother was born in a place that is now in Poland, or in Ukraine. We don’t know. The border moved after WWII and she was born within a mile of the border. My father was born in the center of Ukraine. However, they were Jews, not Ukrainian or Poles or Austro-Hungarians (My grandfather was in the army in WWI before my mother was born). Food was of great importance to my family and I can really connect with your idea of how food is tied to culture. Yes, it is tied to the food of the region, but it is also tied to the necessities of religious Orthodoxy, I have spoken about it often to friends and in my synagogue, where I have cooked important meals with religious tie-ins for hundreds of people. However, I have never really heard anyone else speak on the subject (maybe I was not listening enough) until I heard you today. Bravo.


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