Black Desserts

By Black Food Folks

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Episodes: 13


Black Food Folks presents a limited series focusing on the life and work of Black pastry chefs. The series will focus on a diverse collective of chefs, bakers, chocolatiers, and educators to explore their career paths and the historical context in which they do their work.

Episode Date
Baking Legacy

Family and nostalgia are the core of Black baking traditions and show up in recipes as a cultural heirloom. Nowhere else is this more vividly displayed than in the soul food restaurant and the proprietors who keep these traditions alive. In this episode, I talk with baker and owner of Bomb Biscuits Atlanta Erika Council (@erikajcouncil), the granddaughter of legendary chef and restaurateur Mrs. Mildred 'Mama Dip' Council, about how she and her family handles preserving their matriarch's legacy.

Jan 26, 2022
The Light & Shade of Black Nostalgia

The world of desserts can feel indulgent and decadent in ways that overlook the practical impact our cultural relationships with food have on our lives. The joy and celebration, the emotional connection and comfort in good and bad times our dessert traditions have are as much an heirloom as the recipes themselves so on this episode I talk with wellness coach Shelley Chapman (@shelleywellness) founder of the Mindful Plate youtube series and the Body Food Freedom nutrition and wellness coaching practice about the importance of naming and clarifying our emotional relationships with food and pastry chef and end of life doula Dr. Monica O’Connell (@mimi_oconnell) about how she is using the symbolism and emotional connection to cakes to interrogate end of life care for patients and families.

Jan 12, 2022
Bean To Bar Chocolate

This episode explores the ecosystem around bean-to-bar chocolate making with the creatives reclaiming chocolate for the African diaspora. In this episode, i talk with the chef, activist, and chocolatier Selassie Atadika, owner of Midunu Chocolate about the impact indigenous reclamation of the diasporic legacy of chocolate production could have on the future of the industry and Lissette Davis Grenada bases chocolate and rum expert to talk about the branding and practical possibilities of Black agency in chocolate business but diaspora stakeholders.

The Cross Atlantic Chocolate Collective is offering a sampler box full  of 12 minibars made by member farmers and chocolatiers from across the  African Atlantic. You can find out more about the Alliance of Rural  Communities and how to order their holiday  chocolate box at

Dec 29, 2021
Community Cake

Nostalgia is a huge factor in the baking traditions in the African American culinary canon and the keepers of southern cake and desserts recipes are preserving that legacy for a whole new generation. In this episode, I talk with Chef Colette Knight (@gudgudpudin) of Atlanta-based Gud Gud Puddin about her family legacy of hospitality service and how she’s using her new specialty dessert company as a rebirth of her professional life and her passion for community building as well as pastry artist  Arley Bell (@arley.cakes) of Richmond-based Arley Cakes whose practice pairs social responsibility with entrepreneurship to model the possibilities for this era of civil rights activism.

Dec 15, 2021
Pie Art!

This season we’re taking a little bit of a diasporic trip and no place is more important to the movement and colonial influence on Black foodways than the Caribbean. With a complicated economic, geopolitical, and cultural mix of factors, the over 40 countries and territories represent a critical battleground for the practical understanding of the evolution of Black creativity and by extension culinary innovation. In this episode, i got to chat with a Jamaican chef, educator, and social scientist Tiffany-Anne Parker ( who uses pastry to curate the cultural culinary arts practice called Pienanny the interrogates issues of race gender, and culture through desserts.

Dec 01, 2021
Diasporic Desserts

Sweets look different across the African diaspora, where baking is less about decadent desserts to end a meal and more about special occasions, a taste of other parts of the world, and the botanical bounty of indigenous fruits. I wanted to start this season with a grounding conversation at the West African center of the Black culinary diaspora. On this episode, I drafted my friend, the ever-brilliant Nigerian food explorer, culinary anthropologist, and food historian Ozoz Sokoh (@kitchenbutterfly) of Kitchen Butterfly and founder of Feast Afrique to help us reimagine Black desserts.

Nov 17, 2021
A History of American Cake Design: In conversation with Chef Toba Garrett

An intimate conversation with Master Pastry Chef Toba Garrett.

In the world of cake decorating there is a name that emerges among most professionals as a master of the craft, and that Chef Toba Garret. She wrote the go-to text on cake decorating and is a living legend internationally. I'm honored to share our conversation as the season finale.

Jun 03, 2021
Media Hype

The media landscape allows us to know chefs in ways that the confines of restaurants or bakeshops don’t allow. We get to know their lives and personalities, and in subliminal and overt ways come to understand more about our culture in the process. In this episode, we talk with the media personalities charming us and showing the multiplicity of Black identity while teaching us how to bake. 

Guests on this episode are Vallery Lomas (@foodieinnweyork), Lani Halliday (@misschefsmileypants), and Lasheeda Perry (@lanihalliday, @brutusbakesho).

May 20, 2021
Bakesale Resistance

From Georgia Gilmore to Paola Velez...

From Georgia Gilmore to Paola Velez desserts have always had the power to transform social movements. From activist fundraising to the empowering construct of social entrepreneurship, the ability to bake and sell those treats has been a strategic tool in the Black community. In this episode, we talk with Chef Paola Velez (@smallorchids) about her path to purpose in the pastry world.


Bakers Against Racism

May 06, 2021
The Makers

Household names start someplace...

The world of CGP (Consumer Goods and Products) was made for the dessert world and has been a fruitful space for Black pastry artists for generations. In this episode, we talk with the minds behind some of the most delicious treats about subverting the restaurant space and taking their talents directly to the marketplace as independent entrepreneurs.

Guests on this episode are Mikey Cole, Cheryl Day, and Auzerais Bellamy.

Auzerais Bellamy - Chef./Owner Blondery / @blondery
Cheryl Day - Owner/Chef / @cherylday , @backinthedaybakery
Mikey Cole - Owner Mikey Likes It Ice Cream / @mikeylikesiticecream

Auzerais's nytimes feature…ant-kitchens.html
lani halliday's youtube channel

Apr 27, 2021
Just Desserts

Don't be fooled by how easy they make it look...

Training is a factor that is debated throughout the food world and has as much to do with relative success as any other factor. From formal training to community-sourced apprenticeship rigor and technique are critical ingredients that each chef has to find for themselves. In this episode, Therese talks with guests about the training that makes them each the technicians they are and the role their training has played in their imaginations around career possibility. 

Guests on this episode are Kimberly Brock Brown, Jessica Craig, and Mame Sow.

Apr 08, 2021
Origin Story

We start at the beginning...

On this episode, Therese talks with guests about how they fell in love with desserts. What inspires them, where they trained, and whether the reality of the careers they’ve built for themselves lives up to their initial ideas. Guests on this episode include Erika Dupree, Tavel Bristol-Joseph, and Camari Mick.


Tavel Bristol Jospeh Best New Chef profile 

Mar 25, 2021
Extended Trailer

Black Food Folks is an organization founded by Clay Wiliams and Colleen Vincent to connect Black food creatives in tangible ways. Through Covid-19 the organization has strengthened and grown and has an eye toward intentional storytelling and has taken to podcasting. This first effort is Black Desserts where host Therese Nelson deep dives into the life and work of the creative forces behind our countries most delicious sweets.

Mar 11, 2021