Dallas Public Library Hosting Vegan Chefs for Black History Month
If you weren’t aware, Dallas has a strong vegan scene led by black chefs. Although old grain bowls and hearty flaxseed toasts have proliferated in the natural food world in recent years, pre-colonial Africans have relied on plant-based diets in the past, and the vegan cuisine that local black chefs serve goes beyond delicious salads. Jackfruit barbecue, po’boys with oyster mushrooms, vegan chilli that sticks to the bone – a soulful type of food that is often overlooked in the US beef epicenter
Next week – in February, for anyone else feeling confused or ignited by time – the Dallas Public Library will be hosting a series of local vegan chefs for Black History Month. The program is only online and completely free.
Every Saturday a chef participates in a live streaming interview and / or presents a cooking demonstration. Soulgood’s Cynthia Nevels will start the series on February 13th. Your talk will be streamed on the Dallas Public Library’s Facebook page. As a background, Nevels began cooking vegan food for her youngest son, Tyler, who suffered from cystic fibrosis (he sadly died). But preparing plant-based meals for Tyler inspired Nevels to launch Soulgood.
A master of juices and wellness shots, Tisha Crear draws all kinds of loyalists to her Recipe Oak Cliff restaurant, which is located near the zoo. (Long-time girlfriend and vegan Erykah Badu is also a fan.) She’s closest on Feb.20, when you can watch a pre-recorded cooking demo followed by a live Q&A.
Then, on February 27th, Brandon Waller, who prepares Bams vegan smoothies and wraps in Irving, will round off the program. Waller has long served his vegan cuisine at the Dallas Farmers Market and through Bams vegan pop-ups across the Dallas area. His upcoming store at 2301 N. O’Connor Road will focus on takeaway, which makes sense in these troubled times. (Last summer Waller published a number of e-cookbooks that are perfect for quarantine cooking at home.)
Attend a panel titled “Grow With Us: The Black and Indigenous History of Agriculture” in early February, where local black farmers and food justice advocates talk about Dallas’s agricultural infrastructure, the legacy of black and indigenous people in the world local agriculture, discuss. and more. It’s not particularly about vegan food, but it would lay the foundation for the next February cooking series.
Finally, the Senior Coffee Club is another event on the DPL calendar that caught my eye, although it has nothing to do with Black History Month or food specifically. Every Tuesday morning seniors (presumably) log on to Zoom to share stories and jokes and find a vital human connection for about an hour. While I may be a way of aging into the club, knowing that people are finding ways to meet over coffee is just really nice. That’s all.
All right, go ahead and register online for the cooking demos or chats you like.