by Alexander Smalls, JJ Johnson, Veronica Chambers
Winner of the James Beard Award for Best American Cookbook
“Between Harlem and Heavenpresents a captivatingly original cuisine. Afro-Asian-American cooking is packed with unique and delicious layers of flavor. These stories and recipes lay praise to the immense influence the African Diaspora has had on global cuisine.”
— Sean Brock
“This is more than just a cookbook.Alexander and JJ take us on a culinary journey through space and time that started more than 400 years ago, on the shores of West Africa. Through inspiring recipes that have survived the Middle Passage to seamlessly embrace Asian influences,this book is a testimony to the fact that food transcends borders." — Chef Pierre Thiam
In two of the most renowned and historic venues in Harlem, Alexander Smalls and JJ Johnson created a unique take on the Afro-Asian-American flavor profile. Their foundation was a collective three decades of traveling the African diaspora, meeting and eating with chefs of color, and researching the wide reach of a truly global cuisine; their inspiration was how African, Asian, and African-American influences criss-crossed cuisines all around the world. They present here for the first time over 100 recipes that go beyond just one place, taking you, as noted byThe New Yorker, “somewhere between Harlem and heaven.”
This book branches far beyond "soul food" to explore the melding of Asian, African, and American flavors. The Afro Asian flavor profile is a window into the intersection of the Asian diaspora and the African diaspora. An homage to this cultural culinary path and the grievances and triumphs along the way,Between Harlem and Heavenisn’t fusion, but a glimpse into a cuisine that made its way into the thick of Harlem's cultural renaissance.