Chef Michael W. Twitty’s “Koshersoul” Shares Personal Perspective

by | May 2024

Koshersoul: The Faith and Food Journey of an African American Jew by Michael W. Twitty

In honor of Jewish American Heritage Month, discover Koshersoul: The Faith and Food Journey of an African American Jew by Michael W. Twitty.

Food plays an important role in cultural traditions, social connections and the identity of a people. Author and James Beard Award-winning chef Twitty shares his thoughts on identity. This unique memoir centers on the intersection of the food traditions of the African-Atlantic and the Jewish diasporas. He details his exploration of identity. “Your place in the mishpocheh, the family, and how you navigate that place, not just with others but within yourself—this is the boot camp of identity, especially intersectional identity, and it’s where you find your special truth that only you can bring to the table,” he says.

For Twitty, that truth includes experiences of racism and bigotry but also the sweetness of finding community and connection in unexpected places. He relates feelings of rejection while at a family reunion. At another time, kinship was found while waiting for a bus that did not come. A car full of strangers pulled up and hollered, “Chaver! Get in!” and wished a warm Chag Sameach when they parted ways.

Discover recipes for Koshersoul Collards, Yam Kugel, Black-Eyed Pea Hummus, Louisiana-Style Latkes and more.

Tracy Hvezda-Lehtola is a patron experience supervisor for the Hennepin County Library–Excelsior. Read more at


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