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Black History Month: Journey Through Food

Feb. 2020

For Black History Month, Campus Executive Chef Tracey MacRae and UW Dining staff are offering us a month’s worth of African-originated cuisine at Local Point in Lander Hall and Center Table behind Willow Hall.

“By honoring and celebrating this food, it supports learning about and honoring black culture, while simultaneously encouraging the campus community to learn more about the culture through the exploration of these menus,” noted Chef Tracey. “It is important to remember that each dish has a special place in the culture to which it belongs. Food is memory. Food is identity.  Food is understanding.  Food is creation.  Food is connection.  Food is love.”

Here’s a taste of what’s being cooked and served up: 

Week One: Caribbean
Dishes include, Bammy shack-style jerk chicken with coconut rice and beans, ropa vieja (stewed beef, Cuban style), sweet potato pudding and tostones (traditional twice-fried plantains).
Week Two: North African
A favorite from last year: Koshari, Egypt’s comfort food (pasta topped with a spicy tomato sauce and fried onions), chicken tagine with couscous, creamy Moroccan rice pudding and, of course, baklava.

Week Three: East African
Combining the flavors of garlic, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, clove and turmeric in different combinations in these dishes: Somali beef suqaar (spicy, sautéed beef), nyama choma (Kenyan short ribs), doro wat with injera (spicy Ethiopian chicken stew), topped off with spicy chai and banana-toasted coconut cake.

Week Four: African-American 
The classics: Memphis-style pulled pork, stewed black-eyed peas with rice, smothered pork chops, slow-cooked greens and hush puppies, red beans with corn bread and traditional Southern-style sweet tea.

Chef Tracey, added, “I am honored and blessed to have such a caring and talented group of chefs to support the preparation and service of these heartfelt menus with all the respect and dignity they deserve. I give genuine and warmest thanks to Chef John Mehl, Chef Tim Fitzpatrick, Chef Matthew Lasof, Dale Askew, Larry Connor, Lance LaFave and the outstanding culinary teams that work at Local Point and Center Table.”

Note: Tracey is also offering a cooking program for students, “A celebration of Soul Food” in the Chefs Table at Local Point in Lander Hall on Tuesday, February 11 at 5:30 p.m. in conjunction with the student organization, the Residential Programming Board.  

The menu will include:
Dry rubbed-oven roasted pork spareribs with Kansas City style bbq sauce
Sweet and sassy Superfood slaw
Baked penne and Velveeta cheese (mac and cheese)