ALCTS Speaker Uncovers Southern Food and Family

For Immediate Release
Mon, 01/08/2018


Keri Cascio

Executive Director

Association for Library Collections & Technical Services

CHICAGO—Michael W. Twitty, author of The Cooking Gene (HarperCollins, 2017), is the featured speaker at the President’s Program of the Association for Library Collections & Technical Services (ALCTS). The President’s Program “Dining from a Haunted Plate” will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Monday, June 25, 2018 during the American Library Association (ALA) Annual Conference and Exhibition in New Orleans, La.

Join Twitty as he discusses his journey to uncover the history of Southern food in his own family. This talk focuses on his search through the lens of extensive research at libraries and archives and plantations across the South and how he translated that journey into food through museum education and historic interpretation. In tracing his family roots through food from enslavement to emancipation, from West and Central Africa to the Old South, his work invites all Southerners of all backgrounds to a complicated, uncomfortable groaning table rich in heritage and tradition in which new conversations and connections emerge. 

Twitty is a noted culinary and cultural historian and the creator of Afroculinaria, the first blog devoted to African American historic foodways and their legacies. He has been honored by as one of the twenty greatest food bloggers of all time, and named one of the “Fifty People Who Are Changing the South” by Southern Living and one of the “Five Cheftavists to Watch” by Twitty has appeared throughout the media, including on NPR’s The Splendid Table, and has given more than 250 talks in the United States and abroad. His work has appeared in Ebony, the Guardian and on He is also a Smith fellow with the Southern Foodways Alliance, a TED fellow and speaker and the first Revolutionary in Residence at the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. Twitty lives in Silver Spring, Md.

The Cooking Gene was recently awarded the 2018 James Beard Award for Writing and was named the 2018 James Beard Book of the Year.

Following his presentation, Twitty will be signing copies of The Cooking Gene and Preservation Week posters. 

ALCTS thanks the University of Kentucky Libraries for their generous sponsorship of the 2018 ALCTS President’s Program.

The Association for Library Collections & Technical Services (ALCTS) is the national association for information providers who work in collections and technical services, such as acquisitions, cataloging, collection development, preservation and continuing resources in digital and print formats. ALCTS is a division of the American Library Association.