Join Adrian Miller, former White House staffer in the Clinton Administration and James Beard Award-winning author with Heritage Harvest Festival Chair Corby Kummer, for a memorable conversation about African American presidential cooks. In the words of Miller, “learn how these remarkable men and women comforted our First Families, and often helped shape the American presidency”. Special emphasis will be on Hercules (President Washington), James Hemings (President Jefferson), Laura “Dollie” Johnson (President Benjamin Harrison), Zephyr Wright (President Lyndon Johnson) and Christeta Comerford (Presidents Obama and Trump). Closing discussions will highlight Michele Obama’s inspirational ‘Kids State Dinner’.
Adrian Miller is a food writer, attorney and certified barbecue judge who lives in Denver, Colorado. He is the executive director of the Colorado Council of Churches and is the first African American and the first layperson to hold that position. Adrian previously served as a special assistant to President Bill Clinton and was a senior policy analyst for Colorado governor Bill Ritter, Jr. He has been a board member of the Southern Foodways Alliance. Miller’s first book, Soul Food: The Surprising Story of an American Cuisine, One Plate at a Time, won the James Beard Foundation Award for Scholarship and Reference in 2014. His second book, The President’s Kitchen Cabinet: The Story of the African Americans Who Have Fed Our First Families, From the Washingtons to the Obamas was published on President’s Day, 2017. It was a finalist for a 2018 NAACP Image Award for “Outstanding Literary Work – Non-fiction” and for the Colorado Book Award for History.
Senior Editor and Food Columnist, The Atlantic
2019 Honorary Festival Chair
Corby Kummer’s work in The Atlantic has established him as one of the most widely read, authoritative and creative food writers in the United States. The San Francisco Examiner pronounced him “a dean among food writers in America.”
Kummer’s 1990 Atlantic series about coffee was heralded by foodies and the general public alike. His book The Joy of Coffee, based on his Atlantic series, was heralded by The New York Times as “the most definitive and engagingly written book on the subject to date.”
Kummer’s book The Pleasures of Slow Food celebrates local artisans who raise and prepare the foods of their regions with the love and expertise that come only with generations of practice.
Kummer was the restaurant critic for New York Magazine in 1995 and 1996, and since 1997 has served as the restaurant critic for Boston Magazine. He is also a frequent food commentator on television and radio. Kummer was educated at Yale and began at The Atlantic in 1981. He is the recipient of five James Beard Journalism Awards, including the MFK Fisher Distinguished Writing Award.