A Taste of Wine, Hip Hop and A Side of Ribs ‘Uncorked”

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Think wine, Hip Hop and ribs are an unlikely combination?  Think again.   And Netflix’s Uncorked gives a glimpse of American life in Tennessee through the eyes of young African American aspiring sommelier. His dilemma  is to continue in the tradition of the family owned Memphis BBQ joint serving the ribs, and soul food to the Memphis community.   His grandfather started the business, his father continued the business and primes him to take over the business.     Immediately the feature opens with hard hitting Hip Hop music while shot cuts back and forth between smoking meat, tasting wine and cutting ribs.   The movie centers around a highly unlikely aspiration.   Although Black sommeliers are very few, like many professions lack of exposure or insight stifles an interests in the field.  However, what’s not lacking are Black wine drinkers globally.

Along with the efforts of the movie Uncorked, Black sommelier, Andre Hueston Mack hope to gain more exposure to the Black wine drinking demographic.  According to Mack fc27439a-1945-47c4-80c0-fcfd806c8b54-Sash_Photography_Sablier_Watches-6in aUSA Today article, he expressed that Hip-hop and wine are the perfect pairing.

He is one of only a few black sommeliers and winemakers, and Mack is seeking to revolutionize the wine industry with his background in music, skate culture and modern design. A sommelier or wine steward, is a trained and knowledgeable wine professional, normally working in fine restaurants, who specializes in all aspects of wine.

He founded Mouton Noir, now Maison Noir, in 2007, starting it from scratch with no money and no investors.

His wine is now sold across the U.S. and in 11 other countries, with Mack splitting his time between 13 leased vineyards in the Willamette Valley in Oregon and his home in Brooklyn, New York.

Black Sommeliers are few but the field of Black owned wineries is expanding. Here are a few:

  • Brown Estate
  • Abbey Creek Vineyard. …
  • Indigené Cellars. …
  • Charles Wine Company. …
  • Theopolis Vineyards. …
  • Taste By Chef Rhonda. …
  • FLO Wine. …
  • Maison Noir Wines.

If you want to watch the road to becoming a sommelier in a film filled with twists and turns. Catch Uncorked on Netflix featuring Mamou Athie, Niecy Nash and Courtney Vance.

Remembering B. Smith, A Cultural Icon

Colorstream Media

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Often unfairly called the black Martha Stewart, B. Smith was a legend in her own right.   Smith embodied  glamour affluence, poise, grace and Afrocentrism.  B. Smith rocked natural hair before it was popular in the main stream.  She was always different but yet the same.  She spoke to many black people who thought that’s exactly me.   We drink wine.  We are cultured.  Conversely she showed others a broader or image of the African-American.

In the mid–1960s, Smith began her career in modeling; participating in the Ebony Fashion Fair[ and later signing with Wilhelmina Models agency. Smith was the first African-American model to be featured on the cover of Mademoiselle magazine in 1976.[11]

Smith made two appearances on Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, once as a model for Queen Sara’s wedding dress and once giving a tour of her restaurant, B. Smith, and making raspberry custard with Fred…

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How to Make Sweet Potato Jacks

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Photo by Crystal Johnson

A sweet potato jack is similar to an empanada or turnover but filled with sweet potato filling similar to a sweet potato pie filling, at least that’s how my family prepares them.   I was probably introduced to the age old southern tradition back in 1978 when I was eight years old.   Every year I’d travel to Chesapeake, VA and spend the summer with my grandparents.  My grandmother, 50 years my senior  loved to fry them but my father opts for a more healthy version by baking the jacks.   – Crystal Johnson, MCCN Editor

Watch My Dad-  How to Make Baked Sweet Potato Jacks

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Why Jennifer Lopez & Shakira Opted to Headline 2020 Super Bowl Halftime Show

Colorstream Media

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Colin Kaepernick has his stand while Jennifer Lopez and Shakira have theirs.   Despite major celebs such as Rihanna continuing to refuse to participate in the halftime show in solidarity/support of Kaepernick’s position of taking a knee.  The former NFL quarterback protested because of recent wrong doings to African Americans and minorities…” 

In an interview with GQ magazine Jenny from the block explains her position on doing the biggest primetime television event of the year:

I feel like it is an amazing platform and one of the biggest in the whole world to put out whatever message that you want to put out there. Whatever message of love I think it is taking a chance to do it. I feel that it is a great thing to have 2 Latina women headlining the Super Bowl, in Miami and what we could do with those 12 to 14 minutes to make people…

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Black-Eye Pea Seven Layer Dip

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Five, six, seven, eight, pick what you appreciate.   I concocted this recipe when having a party.   It was after the New Year’s and in African American culture, it means you may have leftover black-eyed peas.   I knew we had tortilla chips. I knew we just happened to have sliced black pitted olives.   So I asked someone to pick up some sour cream and shredded cheddar cheese.    Now, in classic version of the famous 7 layer dip people include tomatoes, guacamole and green onions.  If any of these layer turn you off then leave it out.   Your dip might turn out to be four, five or six layer dip.   If you’re not into refried beans and you want you want to add something fun and different to your New Year’s eve or Juneteenth celebration.

Click here for classic seven layer dip recipe and add your twist!

 

How Marvin Gaye and Helen Reddy Helped Famous Amos Cookie Company Get Started

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To a knew generation it is quite possible they don’t know the face behind the Famous Cookie brand or what’s quite worse, not know the brand at all.   Once upon time, Famous Amos and his cookie brand were truly famous.  Let’s begin with the back story of Mr. Amos.  Wally Amos was the first black talent agent of the famous Willam Morris Agency, now called Willam Morris Endeavor.   In 1967, Amos left William Morris, and moved to Los Angeles, where he struggled to set up his own personal img_1359management company.  Burdened with the debt of his failing business, Amos began to take comfort in baking chocolate chip cookies.

 

The business man in him saw an opportunity.  After all, he had connections, confidence and modified modified version of his Aunt Della’s recipe.   With those ingredients he planned to open the first freestanding cookie store.  Now LA is known for donuts but cookies?

A few friends such as singer Helen Reddy (I am Woman) and Marvin Gaye financially backed him with $25,000,   add an innovative marketing initiative, which included an extensive advertising campaign and a gala grand opening.  The first Famous Amos cookie store opened on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles in 1975. Within months, Amos had opened two more West Coast franchises, and the New York-based Bloomingdale’s department store had begun selling the gourmet cookies.

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Ayesha Curry’s Primetime Show on ABC, ‘Family Food Fight’

family-food-fight-abcFamily Food Fight, a new culinary competition show featuring Steph Curry’s Wife Ayesha as the host. The series will showcase eight families trying to create a recipe in order to win $100,000. Curry will also be a judge on the show alongside Graham Elliot and Cat Cora.

The husband and wife duo each have new shows that will air Thursday nights on ABC.  Steph Curry also bring a family friendly competition show to TV called Holey Moley. 

 

 

First Black MasterChef after Nine Seasons

Colorstream Media

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MasterChef Gerron Hurt tweeted, “After 24 hours I am still on cloud nine.”   He also said, “You are now looking at America’s first Black MasterChef.

Halfway through the two-hour finale of Fox’s “MasterChef” season nine, Louisville native Gerron Hurt had a feeling he’d be headed home with the coveted “MasterChef” title and the $250,000 grand prize.

“I am a very humble person, but when I got to the finale, I walked into the studio feeling really confident about what I was cooking,” Hurt told the Courier Journal. READ MORE

His style of cooking is Southern-inspired.

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Historian Explains Meghan Markle’s Family Tree

Colorstream Media

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Let’s face it, Meghan Markle is more than a British princess, she’s America’s princess.  In America, her wedding was watched more than Prince Harry and Kate’s.   She is the classic story which has helped make Disney rich, a girl of humble means meets a prince and they live happily ever after.

Of course, what is even more unique about Markle is her multi-racial identity., born to a caucasian dad and an African American mom.   On her mother’s side, there is an all too familiar American, African American story which involves a lineage which includes slavery.

Check out this report:

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Film and Foodie Review: Get Out

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Actor, Comedian, Director and Screenwriter Jordan Peele must be thinking, “I love it when a plan comes together.”   His directorial debut, Get Out takes the box office by storm, becoming #1 on opening weekend.  Sadly enough, still not too many African Americans can claim the bragging rights to that feat even today.  And to all my struggling fellow writers/directors of every race my heart goes out to you too because it is hard out there for everyone, period in the business of movies.

Now, the million dollar question is should we believe the hype? Is Get Out all that?  This is a tough one for me to answer.  I typically do not go see horror films.  It is not my thing at all.  However, I don’t mind suspense so with the increasing word on the street that Get Out falls into both categories, horror and suspense it convinced me to get out and go see it.  The execution of Get Out is both original and masterfully purposely cliche.  I went to see this film because a film featuring a Black lead actor and Black director/screenwriter doing Horror which is uncommon equaled counting me in on supporting it.   If you want more of certain films made, you have to support those film in the first two weeks.   Afterall, Show business is a business.

I really liked all the acting performance but the lead actors, Daniel Kaluuya and Allison Williams both gave endearing performances.  They have good chemistry.

You will hear there is a lot of racial social commentary in this film.  All though masked in jokes, the dialogue explores the paranoia that many African Americans feel when they are in predominately white environments.   It explores the concerns that a person of color may have when it is the “Guess who’s coming dinner?” night.   Spoiler Alert- Do not read the rest of this paragraph if you haven’t seen it.  I may be reading too much into this but based on my conversations with people while in Haiti , there is a common fear of not trust some foreign adoption for fear of children’s organs being desired rather than true adoption.   Peele cleverly opts not to do a murdering frenzy but rather an unethical experiment which in some ways mirrors the devaluation of some for the betterment of other people. No killing frenzy!!  Okay, I take it back.   Just don’t expect  killing to happen throughout the film but don’t worry horror fans there will be blood.

Now, more on the matter of race , if you think the movie is mean spirited about interracial relationships with the plethora of jokes about it then think again. Writer  Jordan Peele who is married to a White woman may be sharing some insight of what interracial couples sometimes encounter.

I’m not going to say this is the greatest movie ever but this is not my genre of film yet I still enjoyed it and applaud it for what it offers.

Watch the Film and Foodie Review