…and the feeling was certainly right! Monday night, I along with chef Tiffany Minter and chef Aaliyah Baylor were the first all-female chefs for the Black Chef Series held at Blujeen in Harlem. My anticipation (read: nerves) were great, but the

experience was even greater.

Blujeen chef and owner Lance Knowling is one of the creators of the Black Chef Series. The mission is to highlight Black chefs around the country and to allow them to share their stories through food. Knowingly believes there are many facets to who we are as Black chefs and that we not only embrace our culture and food but also transcend and elevate it as well.

I was on the hors d’oeuvres and first course. For my hors d’oeuvre I prepared one of my favorite warm, umami, salty bites—bagna cauda. It is a warm anchovy dip made with anchovies, garlic, lemon, butter and cream. I plated it in a little jar filled with bread and crudités for dipping. My mother couldn’t get enough.

For my next course, I channeled my southern roots and combined it with my new knowledge of my Italian Sicilian roots to make collard pappardelle pasta with sage brown butter pork ragu. The room swooned over my dish, which always makes a chef’s food heart explode. Thank

you and you’re welcome.

Minter (former chef de cuisine of Cecil/Minton’s and new chef de cuisine at Dig Inn) was up with the next two courses. Having just returned from a trip to Japan, she created dishes laced with all of that good stuff. She served citrus salmon in a spiced one-year aged dashi with crispy noodles for the second course and marinated beef steak with butter pecan squash (get into it!) and Amazake butter sauce for the third course. This woman’s palette and cookery is so inspiring. I was honored

to be cooking with her.

Last, and certainly not least, we all got a taste of the sweet life from Baylor of Harlem’s own Make My Cake (celebrating 22 years in retail). She blessed us with sweet potato and chocolate layer cake with cinnamon brown sugar frosting, bourbon whipped cream and cake crumbles. It turns out that was the one thing that beat her winning smile, at least that night.

To my fellow chefs, the Black Chef Series and the Blujeen staff, thank you for the opportunity to step further into my passion. I look forward to being on the team. Don’t forget my BCS chef coat, Lance…

Happy eating and thanks for reading!

Kysha Harris is a food writer and editor, culinary producer, consultant and owner of SCHOP!, a personalized food service in NYC for more than 15 years. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram, @SCHOPgirl, on Facebook, /SCHOPnyc, and her blog, www.talkingSCHOP.wordpress.com. Questions? Comments? Requests? Feedback? Invitations! Email AmNewsFOOD at AmNewsFOOD@SCHOPnyc.com. Follow us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @NYAmNewsFOOD and tag us with #SoAmNewsFOOD
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