Between Harlem and Heaven : Afro-Asian-American Cooking for Big Nights, Weeknights, and Every Day
“The Asian diaspora has crisscrossed the African diaspora, throughout history and, most powerfully, on the plate. I’ve traveled the world eating and studying, cooking and exploring. The cookbook you are holding in your hands is about digging deep into our American heritage and setting the table with simple ingredients and bold flavours, presented in an entirely new way. Whether you’re serving something as simple as our mac and cheese with rosemary and a side of our okra fries for a Meatless Monday supper or if you’re feeding a crowd with our Afro-Asian- American gumbo, we know that these are meals that are steeped with the flavors of Harlem, that one-of-a-kind uptown hospitality and grace.” – ALEXANDER SMALLS
“Don’t feel like you have to read this book cover to cover. Feel free to sample and scat through these recipes. We encourage you to improvise, like Charlie Parker once did. Everything in this book tastes good with everything. Every sauce in this book will be equally delicious whether you throw it on chicken or beef, a bowl of rice or a platter of grilled vegetables. We like leftovers in Harlem, so even if there’s just a little bit of, say, pork suya in the pot after dinner, don’t be afraid to serve it up the next morning alongside a batch of freshly scrambled eggs. However you choose to use this book, we hope you’ll dive in with an open heart and a hungry belly.” – J.J. JOHNSON
Alexander Smalls, James Beard Award winning chef, author, and raconteur was the visionary co-owner of renowned restaurants, The Cecil and Minton’s. Critically acclaimed and located in the heart of historic Harlem, Minton’s, the birthplace of BeBop in the 1930’s, harkened back to the Jazz Age evoking a sexy supper club with live music serving Low Country cuisine inspired by Smalls’ childhood. His award-winning restaurant, The Cecil, NYC’s first Afro-Asian-American restaurant, was named “Best New Restaurant in America” by Esquire in 2014.
A 2019 recipient of a James Beard Award for his cookbook, Between Harlem and Heaven, Alexander was recently bestowed the Creative Spirit Award from the Black Alumni of Pratt by the inimitable Ms. Cicely Tyson.