The Food Griot Chronicles is an ongoing love letter to all that Black American food and drink professionals, people, and culture have contributed to our foodways for centuries.
Serving up richly entertaining stories and inclusive history, The Food Griot Chronicles leads with gratitude for what Americans of many hues, cultures and national origins have brought - and continue to bring - to the table.
Hosted by The Food Griot herself, Tonya Hopkins, the podcast will lead listeners to ancient Egypt, colonial Virginia, modern-day New York, and beyond, diving deep into the untold history of our favorite foods. Listeners will traverse the wide world of culinary arts as Tonya chats with celebrities, cooks, chefs, bartenders, sommeliers, farmers, artisans, and more, uncovering the truth about our culinary past.
A “griot” is a West African troubadour - a historian, storyteller, mystic, time traveler, and our connection to the ancestors. The griot knows everything that is going on and is a living archive of traditions. Tonya, our griot, comes from a long line of chefs and now spends her life researching the great plantation cooks from whom she is descended. She is a culinary scholar, consultant, and educator who is plugged into all the exciting happenings in black & American culinary history, events, exhibits, and more. Tonya is also a co-founder of the James Hemings Foundation, where she conducts original research and mentors young culinary professionals. She has been featured on television and radio shows including ABC’s “The Chew,” written for scholarly publications and consumer magazines, and done research for television personalities such as Chef Carla Hall and restaurants such as Harlem Hops. A University of Pennsylvania graduate, Tonya also studied at the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET), Windows on the World Wine School, and Narativ.
The Food Griot Chronicles is currently airing 6 mini-episodes in partnership with The Philadelphia Citizen's Foodizen project. Check out the first half of that series now, available wherever you listen to podcasts!
Episode 2: The Most Famous Soup You've Never Heard of
Episode 3: What's on Your Kwanzaa Table?