Immigrants have left their mark on the great melting pot of American cuisine, and they have continued working hard to keep America’s kitchens running, even during times of crisis like the COVID-19 pandemic. For some immigrant cooks, the pandemic brought home the lack of protection for essential workers in the American food system. For others, cooking was a way of reconnecting with homelands they could not visit during periods of lockdown.
Resilient Kitchens: American Immigrant Cooking in a Time of Crisis is a stimulating collection of essays about the lives of immigrants in the United States before and during the COVID-19 pandemic, told through the lens of food. It includes a vibrant mix of perspectives from professional food writers, restaurateurs, scholars, and activists, whose stories range from emotional reflections on hardship, loss, and resilience to journalistic investigations of racism in the American food system. Each contribution is accompanied by a recipe of special importance to the author, giving readers a taste of cuisines from around the world. Every essay is accompanied by gorgeous food photography, the authors’ snapshots of pandemic life, and hand-drawn illustrations by Filipino American artist Angelo Dolojan.
About the Author
PHILIP GLEISSNER is an assistant professor of Slavic and East European languages and cultures at The Ohio State University. A native of Germany, he came to the United States for graduate studies at Princeton. He researches the Soviet literary press, socialist cultural networks, and queer community building in contemporary Eastern Europe.
HARRY ELI KASHDAN is a scholar of food and migration based in Washington, DC. A Ph.D. in comparative literature who has published research on cookbooks and migration in the Mediterranean, he has held fellowships at Harvard University, The Ohio State University, and the University of Pennsylvania.
"This eloquently written collection of essays takes you on a journey into the memories and foodways that sustain, bind and ground us, especially during times of adversity such as the COVID pandemic. Deeply personal and evocative, these powerful narratives are sure to resonate with everyone." — Laila el-Haddad
"Resilient Kitchenscollects the deeply personal accounts of immigrant chefs, writers, and scholars of how their experiences as “other” informed their use of food and cooking to stay centered during the COVID-19 pandemic. Their stories are vastly different but all bear on why food matters so much to personal identity."
— Marion Nestle
"This illuminating, often deeply personal collection of essays and interviews gives voice to the immigrant experience during the worst public health crisis of the past century. The chefs, writers, artists, scholars, and humanitarians in this volume speak of fractures to the system -- some freshly made, some untreated from many, many years ago. But they also speak of food as a solace, a connection to home, and a way to find meaning amid the chaos." — Tim Carman
"Resilient Kitchens: American Immigrant Cooking in a Time of Crisis beautifully details the recipes, writings, and personal stories from a collection of incredible immigrant chefs and food writers in America during the COVID-19 crisis - how they fed our communities, combated food insecurity, fostered food equity, and comforted so many of us through their deeply poignant and inspiring stories." — Marisel Salazar