Toni Tipton-Martin is an expert in Black baking history. The renowned culinary historian (and avid baker) has spent her career researching, writing, and speaking about the legacy of Black chefs, cooks, and bakers in American cuisine. She's published several books on the subject, most notably The Jemima Code and Jubilee, and currently serves as editor in chief of Cook's Country.
Her mission is to share previously untold stories championing the professional skills and kitchen wisdom of generations of Black cooks, so these iconic figures will be recognized as the culinary role models they are.
As part of King Arthur's celebration of Black History Month, Toni connected with Adrian Lipscombe — owner of Uptowne Café & Bakery in Wisconsin and the founder of the 40 Acres & a Mule Project — to have a conversation about the tradition of Black baking and the future of the industry.
Much like Toni, Adrian's work centers on preserving, researching, and celebrating Black foodways. She pursues this mission both through her baking (such as her stellar Southern cakes) and her work beyond the kitchen; the 40 Acres & a Mule Project was founded to acquire Black-owned farmland, which will be used to create a sanctuary to hold the history, food, and stories of Black culture in food and farming.
In the video below, these two women discuss the legacy of female Black bakers like Malinda Russell, how to adapt recipes respectfully, the ways the internet can end recipe gatekeeping, and how their work seeks to honor the past while looking toward the future. They also share stories of delicious recipes and baking adventures along the way!
Watch Toni and Adrian's conversation in this video, and share with others who might want to learn more about baking through this important lens.
King Arthur has made a donation to the organization of Toni's choice, Lucille's 1913 Project, and Adrian's choice, 40 Acres Project. We encourage you to learn more and donate at lucilles1913.org and gofundme.com/f/forty-acres-project.