Finding Your Roots!

"The Melting Pot"

Season 2 Premiere September 23, 2014 8pm PBS
Episode 5
 Henry Louis Gates

The Book of Life

Tom Collichio * Aaron Sanchez * Ming Tsai

Dr. Gates researches these Celebrity Chefs 

1. They cook the food of their Ancestors.
2. Discover how it shaped their Lives and American Cuisine. 

Tom Collichio
His artistry is Italian cuisine! You've seen him on Top Chef, has several restaurants. Out of all the explanatory recipes he does it still always comes back to the simplicity of being centered around family and simple recipes he grew up eating and preparing.

 His Ancestor Francesco Collichio came to this country at 20 years old with 27.00 in his pocket through Ellis Island. What was good in Dr. Gates findings is that he kept going back and forth on that long trip to Italy in Vallata to make money in the United States, go back to provide for his family there and return back to the United States for work. He did this 4 times until he was 69. His final trip, that is how his family settled here. Historians call them the "Birds of Passage". A tender term meaning lonely and hard experience. He fought in World War 1, survived World War 2, had a family through all this History and made it back to the States for a final time. I like when Dr. Gates asked him what would you cook for this Ancestor? He said anything they were having on upper deck! He traveled by steerage. So, yes. I agree. He should be given a meal of Upper Class with fine dining after all he went through.  Tom is ready to visit Vallata so he can come back with the customs and traditions to bring even more flavor for his dishes.

 Ming Tsai
His cuisine is Chinese! His show is Simply Ming. Creating and preparing Chinese dishes with flair.

 His earliest Ancestor was Tsai Ying his 36th Great Grandfather they found what they call "Steles" with his whole family tree on it. Survival of the stele. I don't know how that happens? They had pictures. 891 AD is how far back they can go in time with the Stele. That was a WoW moment. Huang Di is a Emperor who he descends from. Very rare family history. The Chinese kept some impressive records. Tsai is already trying to imagine the foods they ate back then to do now. That would be Great!

Aaron Sanchez! 
His flavors are Mexican! He cooks out of Respect for his Ancestors. His story is centered around his Mother Zarela. 

 A ranch 2,000 miles away in a town called Sonoro in Mexico. 1910 his Great Great Grandfather Rafael Gabilondo had to flee the Country that was in a Revolution. He lost all his cattle. 4 years later, He made a plea to the U.S. Goverment Treasury Department to go back after all the turmoil in the country to reclaim his land and bring his cattle back. He was granted permission. His earlier roots didn't really start in Mexico, it was Spain! March 31, 1713 he was born. His 6th Great Grandfather. Martin Gabilondo.  He was escaping war as well as his earlier Grandfather that is how he got to Mexico to start the family roots.  Dr. Gates tells him he can do his "Roots" in Bilbao. 
Dr. Gates made me giggle when he said all the Guests combined foods were the "Holy Trinity" of Food.
I was also very surprised they lost their family history along the way. Just surprised! It always amazes me the LOOK on their faces when they find out where they come from.

Before I Introduce you to my Friend. 

I have to say "Soul Food" is in my Blood. I have all kinds of ethnicity's. At any given time they come out! ( My German & Irish)! Soul Food is at the heart of, Who I am. That is what I was fed on as Child in the lap of my Mom. Grits and eggs fed by fingers.
 Her Mother Queen born 1888. Her Mother Elizabeth "Lizzie" Jordan born 1843. Her unknown Mother from her Mother back to her Mother. All the way back to Africa. My Women have been in the kitchen cooking for someone else and our families. 
I Salute Them.

These are the Women I come from. The Women who shaped and passed it down for Generations. They are in my Kitchen and at my Table every week.
 I cook like them. I bend over my bowl, my counter, and my stove like them. I can feel them in every little sprinkle and dash. All the while I reminiscence on the Old Ways, remembering. Remembering what my Momma use to do. 
 Tradition lives on in ME. I'm charged with carrying these food traditions on to the next..........
Michael Twitty who I call my Friend.  I had the pleasure of interviewing with my Fellow Bloggers of AAGSAR on BlogTalkRadio! Interview with Michael Twitty

A Food Writer, & Independent Scholar! He's a Culinary Historian, a Historical Interpreter. He blends information with being a Antebellum Chef and what they call, Identity Cooking. He is Jewish as well. A Judaic studies Teacher. 
To preserve his work and save information for the future, he calls it "Culinary Justice". 

 His Spirit is Deep in my Soul. 
His Story and his knowledge about how Food for the Soul are a integral part of History.The way he blends History and Food and make them come together, is Magnificent! If you don't know him by now, you need to. 
He is an integral part of Genealogy. His Foods, his Travels and Life experiences along with his wealth of Knowledge on History are intertwined, they tell All Our Stories. Michael's display of the foods he creates tell a story as well. He makes our Ancestors relevant with their rich history on food. 

"Teacakes for Tosh"

 written by Kelly Starling Lyons is a Great book to teach young children the way of passing food traditions on. That is not lost in the African American family. We pass recipes on to the next generation with Oral History stories to remind them what came before, so it continues for future generations. My Mother passed her family history recipes on to me and my Sister Bettye, nothing was written down. Favorite foods were  always cooked out of Love from watching and practicing over the years. 

What is your favorite recipe or food that was passed on in your family? 

Michael Twitty of Afroculinaria!
Go to Michael's Website for All things Food and History

Also see Michael Twitty on Episodes of "Many Rivers to Cross""


Also on Twitter @KosherSoul for Tweets about his Foods and Journey's.
Listening & Learning from Michael's written word has brought True meaning and a Revival of sorts to All nationalities. He is Preserving History and not letting us Forget as we often do. The Ancestors are guiding him. I know they are Proud of him for not letting this get Lost. 

My Beloved, Michael. Thank You!, for allowing me to express my Gratitude and Love for your work and for all Communities!

See you Next Week. Don't forget to Follow on Tuesday's at Twitter, using #FindingYourRoots

Are you Hungry now?

Go grab a plate, a drink and enjoy the Episode.
Link below:

PBS Finding Your Roots ~ Melting Pot

See ya Next week!

Best Regards, True!

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