It’s been more than a year of big grocery-store hauls in preparation for cooking, and more cooking, and … more cooking. During the pandemic, whether you were lovingly tending to your sourdough starter or simply boiling some water for another box of mac and cheese, many of us became intimately familiar with our kitchens. And as Hannah Giorgis wrote, professional chefs adapted their culinary skills to the moment, personally connecting with their audiences to share accessible home-cooking tips.
Some of those same chefs, and food media more broadly, also spent the past year reckoning with issues of racism and representation in the industry. While diversity efforts at major food magazines remain essential, people outside of legacy institutions have been doing the work for years to make the food world more inclusive. The chef and historian Michael W. Twitty’s The Cooking Gene and the chef and author Klancy Miller’s biannual print magazine, For the Culture, are just two more recent examples of smaller publications that celebrate Black people’s innovations in cooking.
Now, as we get ready to emerge from the pandemic, the ways we think about food and cooking are likely to change once more. Perhaps you’ll step foot in the kitchen only in your imagination, via the food writing of Ruth Reichl or M. F. K. Fisher. Maybe you’ll take a page from Sam Sifton’s new cookbook and find freedom in stovetop improvisation. Or you’ll be reinvigorated by the actor Stanley Tucci’s love of cooking, and cocktails, which he detailed for The Atlantic. Whatever path you take, I hope that your post-pandemic meals are accompanied by good friends (if you’ve found yourself more alone than not this past year) or a good book (if you’ve found yourself not alone enough).
Every Friday in the Books Briefing, we thread together Atlantic stories on books that share similar ideas.
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