In the wake of the 2016 election, Julia Turshen says she was “desperate for something to do, something that felt productive and meaningful.”
The chef and author (of the cookbook “Small Victories,” out last year, along with several others she’s coauthored with celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow and Mario Batali) had always been “committed to feeding people in her community.” She and her wife, Design Sponge founder Grace Bonney, provide meals for the meetings of the Hudson Valley chapter of grassroots organization Citizen Action New York, as well as cook and transport meals to homebound clients via the Kingston, NY-based nonprofit Angel Food East.
But it wasn’t until the election that Turshen says was able to “connect the dots between that community volunteer work and political activism.” That’s when she got the idea to write a new cookbook, “Feed the Resistance: Recipes and Ideas for Getting Involved,” which combines recipes and essays from more than 20 chefs and writers on how to use food to fight oppression and injustice. All proceeds go to the ACLU.
#FeedTheResistance is more than a handy little book: it's also a call to action and it's a community. with this in mind, please share what you're doing to nourish your community using the hashtag #feedtheresistance. this way we can all support each other and be inspired about ways to effect change in our own lives + communities. it could be cooking at your local soup kitchen, gathering friends around your table to talk about racial injustice, throwing an Election Day potluck...need more ideas? head over to the link in my profile. this lovely photo, from Michelle Park, features the recipe for Spiced Mung Bean Wraps from @abrowntable (and those are his hands holding the book!). The recipe is also at the link in my profile. They're delicious and easy and good for you. Cook them, or something like them, and invite someone over who doesn't look like you. Cook them for your family. Together we can #FeedTheResistance and I can't wait to see your way of doing it. ✌🏻✌🏽✌🏾✌🏿
“Feed the resistance” is both literal and figurative. The book is full of affordable and accessible recipes that will provide sustenance for those fighting the good fight, whether it’s “Easy Meals for Folks Who Are Too Busy Resisting to Cook”; “Feeding the Masses: Foods for Crowds”; or “Baked Goods and Portable Snacks.”
Von Diaz, a NYC-based Puerto Rican writer and radio producer, shares her recipe for Variations on Arroz a Caballo, a quick and easy rice dish traditionally topped with a fried egg and ketchup. Bay Area-based chef Preeti Mistry (whom you might know from Top Chef!) contributes her Tikka Masala Macaroni and Cheese, a comfort food that lends itself to large quantities. The Chocolate Espresso Pie Bars, from Savannah, Georgia-based chef Cheryl Day, draw inspiration from the legacy of the protest food movement, specifically, the efforts of Georgia Gilmore and the Club From Nowhere, a group of women who sold baked goods to fund alternative transportation during the Montgomery bus boycott in the 1950s.
But the book is also meant to stimulate conversations about “how food can be a tool to resist injustice and oppression,” says Turshen.
She recalls a quote from chef and author Nicole Taylor, who asked her, “When was the last time you invited someone who doesn’t look like you over for a meal?”
“When we come to understand that pretty much every single decision we make when we cook has political and cultural consequences — where you shop, who you’re inviting to your table, where you’re getting your recipes from — we can understand our power as individuals and consumers, and the collective power we have as communities,” Turshen explains.
Julia Turshen, along with Gina Hamadey and Nicole Taylor, presents “Feed the Resistance” Thursday, Oct. 19, from 7:30 to 8:30 at Book Are Magic on 225 Smith St. Entry is free. You can also catch her in Manhattan on Thursday, Nov. 16 at the 92nd St. Y, with Von Diaz and Mikki Halpin.