A Prosecco Discussion with Alan Tardi

  • Wed
    Mar 25
    6:00 pm -
    7:00 pm
  • Fri
    Mar 27
    6:00 am -
    7:00 am

Cover-Soul Food Love



It was my good fortune to speak recently with Caroline Randall Williams and her mother, Alice Randall. They are the co-authors of Soul Food Love-Healthy Recipes Inspired by One Hundred Years of Cooking in a Black Family. I hope you will make the time to listen, buy the book, read their amazing story, and use the many creative recipes while creating your own kitchen legacy.  

Click "Read more" below now.

The book has two distinct parts-a narrative written by Alice that tells the story of three generations of cooks in her family who each weighed more than 200 pounds, and the fourth generation's differerent story penned by Caroline, who refused to succumb to the same weight issues.   Caroline developed the recipes that make up the second part of the book.

Last week I talk with Caroline about the recipes, and how her research resulted in a treasure trove of discoveries about "forgotten" soul foods."  Eventually she adapted many of the recipes and traditions into simple dishes that anyone can make no matter where they live or shop-Wal-Mart, the conventional grocery store, Whole Foods, the Farmers Market or their own garden.  Understanding the rising obesity rates among African-Americans, Caroline has created a recipe collection that honors tradition while striving to always focus on food choices that are healthy and tasty.

This week, Alice discusses over 100 years of cooking in her family, stories of both the men and women.  She describes the historical reality of the kitchen from an insecure, scary place, to a spot filled with warmth and community, but also how that change and the rise of industrialization resulted in the current health issues affecting the African American community.

The message of Soul Food Love is powerful and inspiring.  Though it ostensibly deals with one African American family, the stories and recipes are tools that anyone can use.

Alice Randall is the bestselling author of four novels, and the writer of one of my all-time favorite country songs, ""XXX's and OOO's (An American Girl)," sung by Trisha Yearwood.  For more information on Alice, who teaches at Vanderbilt University, check our her website.

Caroline is currently working on her MFA at the University of Mississippi.  In addition to being a Harvard graduate, published poet, co-author of two books, and a public school teacher, she was the girl in "XXX's and OOO's."  Sorry, the fan boy in me had to come out.  

On the second part of the show I visit with an od friend, Alan Tardi.  Alan used to own one of my favorite restaurants in New York, Follonico, before closing it in 2001.  Since then he has lived mainly in Italy working in the wine industry, and continuing to write articles for the New York Times and other publications.  In 2007, his book Romancing the Vine won the James Beard Award in the Wine, Spirits, and Beverages category.

Today while working on another book about champagne, he is also working with the consorzio (organization) in Italy that oversees the production of prosecco superiore or DOCG — Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (controlled designation of origin guaranteed).