Review: Chef Edna by Melvina Noel

Posted December 13, 2023 by Richetta in Book Reviews, Children's Books / 0 Comments

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Review: Chef Edna by Melvina NoelChef Edna by Melvina Noel
Published by Abrams on April 18, 2023
Genres: Juvenile Nonfiction / Biography & Autobiography / Women, Juvenile Nonfiction / Cooking & Food, Juvenile Nonfiction / People & Places / United States / African American & Black
Pages: 32
Format: Hardcover
Source: Abrams Books
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A warm and inviting picture-book portrait of African American culinary legend Edna Lewis, who brought Southern cooking to the masses

Edna loved to cook. Growing up on a farm in Freetown, Virginia, she learned the value of fresh, local, seasonal food from her Mama Daisy, how to measure ingredients for biscuits using coins, and to listen closely to her cakes to know when they were done. Edna carried these traditions with her all the way to New York, where she became a celebrated chef, who could even turn traditional French food into her signature Southern style. The author of several cookbooks and the recipient of numerous awards, Chef Edna introduced the world to the flavors of her home.

More people should know about this African American culinary icon. Once I get to a less busy season of life 🤣, I want to take one of Edna Lewis’ cookbooks and work my way through cooking one. Needless to say I have been waiting for Chef Edna by Melvina Noel to come out for a while!

The beautiful illustrations and color palette in Chef Edna by Melvina Noel capture the beauty of nature and country living. The simplicity of country living and pure natural ingredients greatly influenced Edna’s cooking. 

I learned a lot from reading Chef Edna! I didn’t know that she was also a fashion designer for New York celebs as one of her many jobs. Part of the story explains how Edna Lewis continued to embrace her roots and her country upbringing in the hustle and bustle of New York City. 

For blossoming future chefs, you will even get a few tips and a recipe for biscuits to try out! Definitely a great book for kids to begin their exploration of Black culinary traditions and farm-to-table practices. Highly recommend!

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