• Tonya Hopkins

    Food & Drink Culture Historian • Wine & Spirits Specialist •

    Cocktail Cognoscente • Culinary Consultant

  • The Food Griot

    Sharing Savory Stories...

    On The Makings of American Cuisine

    Because Inclusive Stories Matter

    The Food Griot platform's primary focus is on discovering and sharing inclusive American food and drink history narratives via a range of mediums and locations: live presentations, on-air television and radio appearances, public panel discussions moderating/facilitating culinary conversations; food and wine/drink pairing events and dinners...see Tonya's full bio at: .http://thefoodgriot.tumblr.com/bio

  • Something Always Simmering....

    See What a Food Historian Does & Tonya "The Food Griot" at Work:

    Soul Food...

    Has A Uniquely American, Often Unknown Story....

    Food history is everywhere, inspiring and influencing everyone from the most decorated chefs to the everyday home cooks. I bring this history to life as a researcher, expert, writer, and storyteller.

    I love bringing hidden, too often untold stories to light. I believe in an inclusive narrative of modern american food that acknowledges and appreciates the contributions of our ancestors...

    Food History is Valuable in Many Industries...

    I Provide Insightful, Strategic Culinary Services for a Range of Creative Clients & Businesses:


    * Restaurants, Bars, Hotels, On-Premise Locations: Menu Planning, Wine Lists (w/ Food Pairings), Signature or "Batch" Cocktails; Informative/ Educational Guided Tastings; Special Events with Griot-style Storytelling and Contextualized (Culinary History).


    * Chefs, Cookbook Authors, Writers: Provide Relevant Historical and Cultural Context for Recipes/Sidebars in Cookbooks, Travel Memoirs, Food-Filled Novels and other Texts with Prominent Food/Drink Themes.


    * Historic Homes & Museums: Conduct Guided Tastings & Talks Linked to Location’s Historic Significance (Utilizing Relevant Scholarship/Research); Curate Featured (Food/Drink) Products; Facilitate Public Panel Discussions and Culinary History Conversations with Authors and Influencers.


    * Food & Drink Media: On-Air Appearances + Advise Broadcast & Digital/Web Producers and Writers/Journalists/Publishers on a Range of Culinary (& Cocktail!) Content...


    * Television & Film Production Co's: Consult for Food Shows; Address Accuracy in Film and Television Scenes that Prominently Feature Food/Drink.


    James Hemmings Foundation


    2014 – Present

    The James Hemings Foundation (JHF) is a nonprofit culinary arts and education organization inspired by its namesake who was the enslaved man who became America's first classically trained Chef de Cuisine, in France, at the behest of his owner, Thomas Jefferson. JHF is leading the charge to remember, uphold and continue black culinary contributions to the creation of iconic American cookery, brewing and distillation. JHF is dedicated to educating and informing the public on the profound and prolific impact of African American foodways nationwide and globally. We endeavor to reverse the historical omissions of the black chefs, cooks, caterers, farmers, brewmasters, distillers, etc. who were the foundation of professional cookery and fine dining throughout America. With chef Hemings life’s work and legacy as a portal, JHF honors an inclusive American culinary history and Jame's legacy in particular while also showcasing and supporting the brilliant work of today’s contemporary African American chefs/caterers/cooks, bartenders/brewers/distillers, food historians, writers, culinary curators, etc.

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