Food for diasporas

Cooking up Koshersoul with chef Michael Twitty

2 minute read
A portrait of Twitty. He wears a dark gray hoodie, his hand at his chin. A ring with a solid white stone on his ring finger.

What does chef Michael Twitty, whose new book Koshersoul honors the interactions of African American and Jewish American diasporic identities, plan to cook for Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, which arrives on the evening of September 25?

“I’m planning a sweet and sour honey brisket, rice infused with simonim (symbolic foods eaten on the new year), carrots with zatar and dates, and some kind of greens—probably beet greens and also okra,” he says. “And a peach cobbler for dessert.” This kind of Rosh Hashanah menu reflects chef Twitty’s expansive perspective on both Jewish and African American culinary traditions.

Making a full plate

Fans of the chef may be familiar with his other books The Cooking Gene (HarperCollins 2017) and Rice: A Savor the South Cookbook (UNC Press 2021) as well as his vibrant social media presence. Chef Twitty was also featured on Netflix’s High on the Hog, which charted how African Americans have shaped US culinary traditions.

With Koshersoul: The Faith and Food Journey of an African American Jew, chef Twitty hopes that this personal memoir with over 50 recipes will shift the narrative of what it means to be a Jew of color in America. “Jewish can look like us,” he says. “Jews can be Black and have Black concerns. I want readers to look at this book as an opportunity to expand their understanding.”

On September 22, chef Twitty will join in conversation with chef and cookbook author Joan Nathan, one of the world’s authorities on Jewish food, at Philadelphia’s newly reopened Weitzman National Museum of American Jewish History.

“Michael Twitty’s body of work has helped many people with intersecting identities feel seen, while also sparking new ways to think about, interpret, and engage with Jewish, Black, and American histories.” says Dan Samuels, director of public programs at the Weitzman. “Twitty is a mensch and a scholar. I can’t wait to host him in person at the Weitzman.”

What, When, Where

Koshersoul book release with Michael Twitty and Joan Nathan. $18-$25 (streaming online for $10-$12). Thursday, September 22, 2022, at 6:30pm, at the Weitzman National Museum of American Jewish History, 101 South Independence Mall East, Philadelphia. (215) 923-3811 or

Masks are required for this event.

Koshersoul. By Michael Twitty. Amistad, August 9, 2022. 400 pages, hardcover; $28.99. Get it here.


The Museum entrance is wheelchair accessible. All floors, including gallery, dining, and store levels are accessible and can be reached by elevator.

Standard wheelchairs are available on a limited, first-come, first-served basis at the admissions desk. Reservations cannot be made in advance; free of charge, but a form of ID is required.

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