Of the 100,000+ recipe collections published over hundreds of years of American history through the end of the 20th century, only 200 or so have been credited to black cooks and writers.
When 23rd president Benjamin Harrison and his wife, Caroline, fired their French chef and hired Dolly Johnson, a free black woman who had worked for them in Indianapolis, the move made national headlines. This is in jarring contrast with the recent headlines we’ve seen asking, “Where are all of the black chefs?” Then, as now, they were there doing their thing, hiding in plain sight. — Chef Adrian Miller. Photo Credit Library of Congress: Dolly Johnson, the White House cook for president Benjamin Harrison.