“Arcade Fire Members Talk Haitian Rum and Keeping It Loud at Their Restaurant Agrikol,” by Tim Forster. July 29, 2019. (Eater).
“It’s been over three years since two members of famed band Arcade Fire — Régine Chassagne and Win Butler — opened a restaurant in Montreal’s Village. Working with Toronto restaurateur Jen Agg and her partner Roland Jean, Agrikol quickly became a go-to for Haitian food and rum-laden cocktails, and then even more of a hub when next-door bar Ti-Agrikol opened.
Agg and Jean left the restaurant in 2018 to focus on their Toronto businesses (perhaps the most amicable split ever, notes Butler), but the restaurant is still going strong. Butler, Chassagne, and Agrikol chef Paul Toussaint sat down with Eater to talk about it.”
“Yewande Komolafe’s 10 Essential Nigerian Recipes,” by Yewande Komolafe. June 26, 2019 (New York Times)
““We don’t say a dish is spicy — we say it has pepper.” The recipe writer Yewande Komolafe, who grew up in Lagos and found herself searching for the heat and flavor of Nigerian food in New York, chooses the dishes that define the cuisine for her.”
“A Chef Tells the Story of the Slave Trade Through Dinner,” by Korsha Wilson (May 17, 2019) (NYT)
“Nearly a year ago, the chef Eric Adjepong stood in Macau on the set of the “Top Chef,” having made it to the finals of the cooking competition show. The only thing standing between him and the title was a four-course meal, served in two parts. He’d decided to use his menu to show the judges how influential Africa’s culinary heritage is on other parts of the world, including America.”
“The Not-So-Sweet Side of Sugar: The violent history of sugar is the subject of a talk at the Brooklyn Historical Society.” By Front Burner – October 9, 2018 (NYT)
James Walvin, a professor emeritus of history at the University of York in England, will discuss his book “Sugar: The World Corrupted, From Slavery to Obesity,” at the Brooklyn Historical Society. He promises not to sweeten the very fraught story of this culinary staple.
“Sharing the Food of an Ivorian Childhood at Paradis des Gouts,” by Ligaya Mishan – October 18, 2018 (NYT)
“At Paradis des Gouts, she is an ambassador, explaining dishes to diners mostly unfamiliar with them, like attieke, fermented cassava pulp grated and molded into tiny couscous-like orbs. It has little flavor on its own but arrives topped with raw Scotch bonnets or habaneros: first the burn, then bland consolation.”
“Rum Enthusiasts Have a New Obsession: Fresh-Cut Sugar Cane,” by Jason Wilson
“Among aficionados of craft spirits, the obsessive quest for the “authentic,” “pure” and “rustic” intensifies with each passing year. Not too long ago, rhum agricole from Martinique or Guadeloupe — a rum distilled from the juice of fresh-cut sugar cane, following strict rules enforced by an “appellation d’origine contrôlée” in France — might have satisfied those nebulous ideals. […] But over the past several months, an unaged rum from Haiti called clairin, also made from fresh-pressed sugar cane juice, began popping up on cocktail menus…”