Press Releases

Zingerman’s Roadhouse Celebrates African American Culinary Traditions in 4th Annual Special Dinner (12/08)

For immediate release
Contact Pete Sickman-Garner, [email protected], 734.904.0644

African Americans in the White House Dinner Highlights the Influence of Black Chefs on the Presidential Table

The day after Barack Obama is inaugurated as America’s 44th President, Zingerman’s Roadhouse will look back at the culinary history of the White House and the prominent role that African American cooking has played there. At the 4th annual African-American dinner, special guest Adrian Miller will discuss the influences of black chefs both in the White House kitchens and on the campaign trail and Chef Alex Young has developed a menu that highlights the blending of presidential preferences with foodways that have their roots in African cooking. Also, featured are exclusive desserts from Zingerman’s Bakehouse developed especially for this occasion.

“I’m especially excited to have Adrian here,” notes Zingerman’s co-founder Ari Weinzweig. “We met through the Southern Foodways Association and he’s taught us so much over the years about the history of African American cooking.” The menu includes a crab and sausage gumbo developed by Hercules, the enslaved chef of George Washington, Dolley Johnson’s Devilled Almonds and Jefferson’s favorite macaroni pudding. From the Bakehouse come Jumbles, an unusual caraway and rosewater cookie popular at Christmas and taken from Martha Washington’s Rules for Cooking and Maple Hickory Nut Meringues made during the Coolidge administration

Zingerman’s Roadhouse hosted their first dinner celebrating African American culinary heritage in 2005 and have made it an annual event most recently featuring Sallie Ann Robinson and the history of Gullah cooking in 2007. Reservations for the $45 dinner on January 21st at 7pm are available at 734.663.3663.

For more information on the event, contact Pete Sickman-Garner, 734.904.0644 or [email protected].

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Adrian Miller is former Special Assistant to President Clinton and is currently Senior Policy Advisor to Colorado Governor Bill Ritter, Jr.  His experience in law has taken him from Washington D.C. to Denver Colorado and on the campaign trail in an informal role supporting Democratic initiatives, candidates and ultimately, President-Elect Obama. His passion for food leads him to spend his free time as a certified barbecue judge for the Kansas City Barbecue Society, and as a board member for the Southern Foodways Alliance, an organization dedicated to preserving and promoting the diverse food cultures of the American South. He’s currently writing a history of soul food in America.

Zingerman’s Roadhouse, part of the Zingerman’s Community of Businesses, is a full-service restaurant established in the old Bill Knapp’s building on Ann Arbor’s west side in 2003 and features a full range of traditional American foods along with a full bar specializing in small batch bourbon and the finest American beer and wine. Roadhouse chef Alex Young has been nominated for the James Beard Foundation’s Best Chef in the Midwest in 2007 and 2008. Zingerman’s founders Ari Weinzweig and Paul Saginaw were awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by Bon Appetit in 2007.