Through 80+ recipes, Code Noir tells the interesting and complex story of Caribbean cuisines that are not only incredibly rich in flavor but also in history.
Code Noir is a cookbook steeped in history. Not just because of the title, which hits on a seventeenth-century decree in which King Louis XIV recorded how enslaved Africans in the French colonies were to be treated, but also because it deals with the food and the people that, through the gruesome course of history, came together in the Caribbean.
Inside, chef and culinary activist Lelani Lewis goes back to her Caribbean roots with classics like jerk chicken, salted cod fritters, pepperpot stew, and Guinness punch. She also shares new creations with typically Caribbean ingredients like cassava, corn, coconut, lime, plantain, and chilies: plantain with peanut and lime salsa, sweet potato gratin with ginger cream, and crème anglaise of creamed corn and caramelized guava.
Lelani Lewis is a chef, food stylist, and culinary activist who grew up in South London with a father from Grenada (Lesser Antilles) and a mother from Ireland. After studying sociology, she started Code Noir, a platform on Caribbean cuisines inspired by the complex history of her father’s cuisine.
Lelani organizes dinner parties, workshops, and lectures that explore food, history, resistance, remembrance, and colonialism.
London-raised and Amsterdam-based food stylist and cook Lewis is known for catering and pop-ups. In her first cookbook, she shares her passion for Caribbean cuisine. Lewis provides detailed pantry knowledge, including flavor descriptions and procurement advice, all with the focus on quality ingredients. Lewis calls herself a culinary activist, and her book is sprinkled with detailed descriptions of the influences of Caribbean foodways, the origins of ingredients and recipes, and the impact of history on cuisine. Radiant photos depict family, food, and gorgeous environmental scenes. Recipes are a mix of traditional fare from across the Caribbean islands (jerk chicken) and fusion dishes from Lewis's modern kitchen (rice and pea arancini; pink-peppercorn upside-down cake). The "Everyday Eats" chapter is subdivided by protein, making last-minute dinners with tons of bold, sometimes spicy flavor achievable. Lewis shares her heritage, passion for cooking, and knowledge of foodways all in one bright and vibrant package that will satisfy. Informative and full of big flavors, this is a delicious and accessible introduction to Caribbean food for novices; will be a welcome addition to library shelves. -- Sarah Tansley, Library Journal
[H] Tra Publishing / February 20, 2024