Slow Food Upstate

Supporting Good, Clean and Fair Food

Slow Soul-Meet Jessica B. Harris at Sterling

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Saturday August 18, 2012 5:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Sterling Community Center, 113 Minus Street, Greenville, SC 29601 (off Dunbar St. near St. Francis Hospital)  (map)

How do you connect to your history, your traditions and your ancestors?   Explore the food ways from Africa to the Carolinas.

Slow Food Upstate brings to Greenville one of a handful of African Americans who have achieved prominence in the culinary world, Jessica B. Harris.

Reserve your space at the Garden Party and Dinner on August 19 here:

Thank you to our Sponsors!

Earth Fare, The Healthy Supermarket

BMW Manufacturing Co.

Anson Mills

The Asheville Food and Wine Festival

She holds a Ph.D. from NYU, teaches English at Queens College, and speaks English, French, Spanish, and Portuguese. Jessica Harris is a member of the IACP and Les Dames d'Escoffier. Her articles have appeared in the Eating Well, Food & Wine, Essence, and The New Yorker, among other publications, and she has been profiled in The New York Times. Harris has spoken about the food of African Americans on The Today Show, Good Morning America, the Museum of Natural History, and has been a frequent guest at Philadelphia's The Book and the Cook.

“The U.S. slave trade took many things from the Africans who were forced into it: family, name, homeland, and, of course, freedom. But within that system of brutality, there were certain things that couldn’t be stolen from the slaves, including their taste memories, cooking techniques and agricultural practices. It’s through these food memories and techniques that Africans transformed the way Americans eat. 

Slow Food Upstate hosts two events, the first which will be free and open to the public with Jessica B. Harris speaking on the subject  “The Healing Table: Using the meal as a way to heal the family”

August 18, 5:00 at the Sterling Community Center

113 Minus Street, Greenville, SC 29601 (off Dunbar St. near St. Francis Hospital)

The Sterling community center has a long connection to the African American community and was the building which houses the community center was the first black high school begun by Rev. Minus, born in 1848 of slave parents in Colleton County SC. In later years many prominent African Americans graduated from the school, including Jesse Jackson and Lillian Brock-Fleming, City Council woman and Vice Mayor Pro Tem, District 2 Representative. The students of Sterling High School were the driving force that promoted the change of institutional segregation in Greenville County in the 1950’s-1960’s. 

The second half of the event, held August 19, 6:00-9:00 pm, will be a dinner hosted in a backyard garden, and will be a Fund Raising Event for Slow Food Upstate grants which goes toward local school and community gardens, small farms and educators in food and nutrition,  and an International project, 1000 Gardens in Africa.

 The “Thousand Gardens in Africa” project provides education for farmers and young people, encourages the awareness of local plants and biodiversity, respect for the environment and the sustainable use of soil and water. It means the passing-on of knowledge from the old to the 
young and a reinforced spirit of collaboration. The support of a garden, moreover, guarantees a daily supply of fresh and healthy food to local communities and improves the quality of daily life and the development of local economies.

Garden Party and Dinner August 19, 6-9 pm

Jessica B. Harris speaks on “Same Boat, Different Stops” an African Atlantic culinary journey as she examines the uses of some African food plants that have influenced the food-ways of the American south. 

Up-rooted from ancestral lands, Africans arrived with their intellect and cultural heritages unbroken in spite of the terror of the “Middle Passage.” Suffering harsh conditions, enslaved Africans put down roots in the soil of the Americas and grew new as well as old crops with ingenuity and vision. Africa’s contributions to the Southern food traditions are countless. African American food-ways, as expressions of various ethnicities and histories, mixed and stirred with Indigenous American, European, and Asian foods to create a unique blend of culinary traditions.

Retracing the roots, Slow Food Upstate creates a meal based on the foods that made the journey, okra, watermelon, eggplant, sorghum, Tunis Lamb, Sea Island Red Peas, Carolina Gold Rice, and more, in the original African Traditions.

Food historian Jessica Harris explores this part of the American story, and the people involved in it, in her new book  “High on the Hog: A Culinary Journey from Africa to America” which among many other of her books will be available for purchase at both events.


Meze (hors d’oeuvres) 

- Carrot Salad

- Slata Fel Fel

- Manya Alich’a

- Ful Medames

- Bamia (Okra)

- Sauce Gombo 


Eggplant Casserole


Main Course

- Lamb Kekabs & Moroccan Kofta

- Mwambe Beef

- Chicken Yassa


Side dishes

- Carolina Gold Rice

- Fufu

- Yogourt sauce

- habanero jam



Watermelon, Pineapple, Mango



Slow Soul, Jessica Harris speaks August 18, 5:00 at the Sterling Community Center

Free and open to the public

Slow Soul, A Garden Party and Dinner with Jessica B. Harris, author and speaker

Slow Food Upstate Members

Join us at and choose SC Upstate
Group or Corporation 
Donation to Slow Food Upstate in the amount of $360.00
Receive eight invitations to Slow Soul-a Garden Party

Reserve your space at the Garden Party and Dinner here:

Slow Food stands apart from other organizations in that the focus combines the pleasure of the table with the responsibility of the environment as well as a socially just food system.

The culture of food connects us with our communities and our traditions. Slow Food works to build those communities and preserve the traditions and enjoyment of good food in the company of friends and family.  Slow Food is dedicated to soulful pleasure to the table, while being ever mindful to be careful stewards of the environment, and ever mindful that food is a Universal right of all humans of all levels of income.  This is the basis for the philosophy of Slow Food, “Good, Clean and Fair.”

A book signing and question answer time with Jessica B. Harris at both events.



The menu is still in the development stages, but will reflect the products of African origin that came to be part of the Southern Food Traditions.

Okra, Eggplant, Carolina Gold Rice, Watermelon, Tunis Lamb, and much more will be included and prepared in  traditional African methods, with products that come from local farms. 






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Membership matters! Slow Food members are the lifeblood of this organization, providing the necessary financial support to power the global movement, the devotion to living Slow and making “good, clean and fair food for all” a reality.

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Slow Food Upstate Board

Janette Wesley, Chapter Leader

Linda Lee, Co-Chair

Joe Augello , Treasurer

Lil Glenn, Secretary

Mary Carney

Sarah Flick

Mary Hayes

Donna Johnston

Eve King

Dr. Beth Kunkle

Jordon Lea

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Chris Sermons

Renato Vicario

Dr. Nancy Walker

Brittney Waller

Emily Yepes


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Jim Ritchie