By Lori Fredrich Senior Writer & Dining Editor Published Mar 17, 2016 at 2:01 PM

On April 12, UW-Milwaukee’s Stahl Center for Jewish Studies will host culinary historian Michael Twitty for a talk entitled "Kosher Soul: Black & Jewish Identity Cooking." 

The lecture will focus on the melding of histories, tastes, flavors and Diasporic wisdom in Twitty's ongoing journey as a black Jewish man.

Twitty's work may be familiar to you if you have an interest in Southern cuisine or – more specifically – the legacy, history and influence of Africa on Southern food and foodways.

A Judaic studies teacher, food writer and culinary historian whose work has been published on his blog Afroculinaria since 2011, Twitty and his work were swept into the mainstream when his open letter to Paula Deen, which included an invitation to her to assist him in cooking at an historic antebellum plantation in North Carolina.

Ultimately the letter went viral, casting a new light on Twitty’s work and writing, which focuses on preparing, preserving and promoting African American foodways, traditions and legacy in the food culture of the American South. In the years since, Twitty’s work has been featured through a variety of outlets, including NPR.

Twitter is now the author of the forthcoming book "The Cooking Gene: A Journey Through African-American Culinary History in the Old South," which traces Twitty’s path in tracing the food-steps of his ancestors in the Old South, using the story of African American foodways to follow his ancestors from Africa to America and from slavery to freedom.

"Kosher Soul" will take place April 12 at 7 p.m. at the Centennial Hall in the Milwaukee Public Library, 733 N. 8th St. The event is free and open to the public.

Lori Fredrich Senior Writer & Dining Editor

Lori is an avid cook whose accrual of condiments and spices is rivaled only by her cookbook collection. Her passion for the culinary industry was birthed while balancing A&W root beer mugs as a teenage carhop, fed by insatiable curiosity and fueled by the people whose stories entwine with each and every dish. She’s had the privilege of chronicling these tales via numerous media, including OnMilwaukee and in her book “Milwaukee Food.” Her work has garnered journalism awards from entities including the Milwaukee Press Club. 

When she’s not eating, photographing food, writing or recording the FoodCrush podcast, you’ll find Lori seeking out adventures with her husband Paul, traveling, cooking, reading, learning, snuggling with her cats and looking for ways to make a difference.