Netflix drops 1st trailer for ‘High on the Hog: How African American Cuisine Transformed America’

Ny Magee
·4 min read

The series takes viewers on a culinary journey that ventures from Africa to the deep south.

Netflix has released the trailer for an original culinary series titled High on the Hog: How African American Cuisine Transformed America, based on a popular book of the same name by food historian Dr. Jessica B. Harris.

According to a press release, the series takes viewers on a culinary journey that ventures from Africa to the deep south. The immersive four-episode docu-series — part culinary show, part travelogue — follows food writer Stephen Satterfield as he meets the chefs, historians, and activists who are keeping centuries-old traditions alive. Over Western African stews, soul food, barbecue, and fine dining, the series, directed by Academy Award winner Roger Ross Williams, reveals an expansive, eclectic culinary history shaped by slavery, the Civil War, Juneteenth, and present day. It’s a story of Black America’s resilience, enduring creativity, and vital contribution to America’s kitchen.

Satterfield “embarks on a vibrant and powerful culinary journey alongside chefs, historians, and activists that celebrate the courage, artistry, and resourcefulness of the African American people.”

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The show is “a story of Black America’s resilience, enduring creativity, and vital contribution to America’s kitchen.” Check out the trailer below.

When asked why there hasn’t been a show like this before, Williams said it comes down to one simple reason: “Racism.”

“Hollywood movies have been perpetuating racist ideas since Birth of a Nation all the way through Green Book. It’s the same thing in the music industry where Black people didn’t control or own their own music. In the culinary world. Black people were also shut out. They weren’t recognized,” he said. “Their food was not considered sophisticated. But those days are over. There’s a momentous change happening in the world. We’re waking up to all the contributions of Black people, including in food. And as Black people are now being recognized by the culinary world, slowly but surely, there’s a lot more ground to cover. We’re just scratching the surface these stories?”

Producer Karris Jaegger said Satterfield is the right person to help tell these stories because ”he knows a lot of people in the food scene and is well-respected.”

“We had coffee with him in Los Angeles and people were liter- ally calling out to him as they walked by. He has something that draws you to him, like twinkle in his eye. But he is first and foremost a gentle soul which this piece needed, “SatterfieldThere were hard questions and topics that we were bringing up and we wanted someone who had knowledge and sensitivity. That gentleness also comes with a powerful presence. He’s also a huge fan of Jessica and is continuing the work, she started.

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“Stephen is brilliant on so many levels because he’s a chef, sommelier, food blogger, and journalist,” said Willians. “He’s also young and dynamic and has his finger on the pulse of what’s happening right now in the food industry. And it was really important that the series was led by someone on a journey. Like every Black person in America, he is on a journey discovering who he is. He’s having a reckoning with the past and with our place in America. He had many deep emotional experiences in the making of this series, starting in Africa all the way through. Texas. As Black people, we are all on a journey to deal with our pain, struggle, triumphs and successes.”

Executive producer Fabienne Tobak hopes viewers are both inspired and enlightened by the series.

“When they eat a bite of mac and cheese or a piece of fried chicken, they have some knowledge of where it came from,” Tobak said. “It’s bringing context to food history and the resilience, artistry, and impact that African Americans have had on the American kitchen. Food is a great connector, the more that people can come together and break bread, the more we can celebrate our commonalities as opposed to our differences.

High on the Hog: How African American Cuisine Transformed America, debuts on May 26.

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