“I think “the Jemima Code” is brilliant and subversive and, from an American point of view, perhaps the most important book released last year.”
(Daniel Patterson The Art of Eating Prize Committee)

The Jemima Code: Two Centuries of African American Cookbooks explores Toni’s collection of rare titles and works from the early 1800s to the late 1980s.

Her forthcoming cookbook, Jubilee: Recipes From Two Centuries of African American Cooking, relies upon history, recipes from the Jemima Code collection, and stunning color photographs to tell the story of African American cuisine that reaches beyond soul food.

The Jemima Code is the recipient of these honors:

2019 Best Cookbooks of the Century So Far, the New Yorker magazine
2016 James Beard Awards, Reference & Scholarship
2016 The Art of Eating Prize
2016 Outstanding Contribution to Publishing Citation, Black Caucus of the American Library Association
2016 Best of the Best, Association of American University Presses
The Gourmand World Cookbook Awards 2016, finalist
The Pat Conroy Southern Book Prize, Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance, finalist

Throughout history, the poverty cooking of the plantation cabin has defined black cooks who have not been acknowledged for the intelligence they demonstrated while doing their jobs — whether as professionals in Big House kitchens, in elite homes of Old South, or as “soul food” cooks giving folks a taste of home when they migrated north. The Jemima Code looks beyond ingredient lists and instructions to reveal culinary competencies and artistry not often associated with black cooks. It is an inspiring testament to African-American cooks, as well as an invaluable bibliography and work of cultural archaeology.