Credit: Kysha Harris photo

June 19, 1865, was the abolition of slavery in Texas and enslaved African-Americans in the confederacy. If you did not know, now you know. Harlem was not shy about celebrating the holiday and more, either.

First, @CoveLoungeNYC celebrated the 100th year anniversary of the Harlem Renaissance with the launch of their Nite Brunch series. Dishes like chicken and waffles, shrimp and grits and lump crab cake benedict were served with Hennessy cocktails. The night honored diverse Harlemites in the arts.

Then, across the way at @RoosterHarlem, chef Rasheeda Purdy prepared a four-course dinner paired with a gorgeous selection of wines, all from winemakers of color. The meal celebrated all of the rich ingredients of our history.

The meal began with black-eyed pea hush puppies with brown butter and tomato jam paired with a not too oaky chardonnay from Knock On Wood. Next was perfectly fried whiting, Mama T’s collards and sweet Lucy’s candied yams paired with sauvignon blanc from Aslina. This plate set me on fire.

Chef Ed Brumfeld proudly brought over an intermezzo “lil’ diddy” he was perfecting, pork-rich dirty black-eyed pea stew. I was sold on it after two bites but had to wrap it up with the next two courses of barbeque short ribs with red rice, corn succotash and pickled watermelon and dessert of tea cakes.

Great work chefs! Proud of all of you. Keep pushing forward.