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“Food is History” & Chef Marie Mitchell’s Cookbook is Calling The Caribbean Diaspora Home

Few things in life fill me with pride like my Jamaican heritage. I wear my diaspora status like a gold Olympic medal (in athletics, of course) and have the cultural credentials to back it up. I have visited the country many times over; have an encyclopaedic knowledge of 00s dancehall music lyrics; and donate to social causes on the island. 

But there is one, often-cited Caribbean trait I don’t possess: a love of feeding others.

It’s not for a lack of technical skill or interest in the food of my people. I love Jamaican food. I just can’t muster up excitement about spending hours in the kitchen preparing food – even for myself. 

But is my soul missing out on essential nourishment?

I sometimes wonder if my cooking avoidance disconnects me from a major part of my cultural identity. Like there’s a Dutch-pot-sized hole in my Jamaican-ness that island trips, music or philanthropy can’t fill.