Registration is required.

Black cooks and chefs have made significant contributions to Maryland’s culinary history. Although many Black cooks were not publicly celebrated for their culinary innovations during their lifetimes, two Marylanders are changing the narrative and ensuring their recognition.

In this program, Tonya Thomas, chef and co-owner of H3irloom Food Group, and food historian Joyce White, author of the forthcoming book Cooking Maryland’s Way: Voices of a Diverse Cuisine, uplift the recipes and histories of enslaved and free cooks who worked in kitchens across Maryland prior to the Civil War. Individuals like Sybby Grant, an enslaved cook who lived in the 19th century, is one of many talents who will be featured in White’s forthcoming book. Grant lived at 1 West Mount Vernon Place, a residence converted to galleries that now house some of the Walters’ collections. John-John Williams IV, a diversity, equity, and inclusion reporter at The Baltimore Banner, will moderate this conversation.

Grant will also be honored in a special dinner presented by the H3irloom Food Group at the Walters on June 29. Attendees will be able to preorder White’s book and register for the dinner at this program, which is presented in honor of Juneteenth.


About the Speaker

Joyce White’s work as a food historian began in her career as a museum educator attempting to accurately interpret historic meals, table-settings, and kitchens where she also learned to cook on the open hearth. In Maryland, Joyce is the foodways consultant for the c. 1801 Riversdale House Museum in Riverdale Park, and consulted in the restoration of the 18th-century kitchen at Annapolis’s William Paca House. Joyce also presents food history lectures, creates historically accurate faux foods, and has been featured as a food history expert on various television shows such as State Plate with Taylor Hicks, Eatin’ the Chesapeake: The Five Feasts for MPT, and CBS News Sunday Morning. Joyce can be found at her website,, and on Facebook at A Taste of History with Joyce White.

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Add to Calendar 20240608 America/New_York 600 North Charles Street Baltimore MD 21201 The Legacy of Sybby Grant and Black Cooks in Maryland