“I’m really trying to think of ways for us to take the trauma that’s linked to our food and uplift it in ways that makes us feel good and connected to who we are and our cultural identity,” says Jordan Wimby, aka the Melanin Martha, the subject of my column this week.
You can see (and eat) that plan in action next Monday, June 20, when Wimby takes over the kitchen at the Kedzie Inn in Irving park for Monday Night Foodball, the Reader’s weekly chef pop-up. That’s also the day after Juneteenth, and Wimby is celebrating Black foodways with a menu of “Ancestral Favorites Reimagined,” featuring, as promised, her favorite vegetable: okra—buttermilk-battered and deep fried with a rich, creamy sauce. She’s also bringing the sweet potato-fennel minced beef pies, infused with ginger, garlic, and orange peel that I watched her conjure on Instagram this week; along with catfish étouffée and Carolina Gold rice (with a cauliflower sub for vegetarians).
I was slightly off on my prediction for dessert—it’s bourbon sweet potato crème brûlée—but hibiscus makes its way into her strawberry-mint ice pops, and also the gin-radler cocktail special Jon Pokorny will be mixing up at the bar.
Preorders for this taste of liberation are on sale now, and walk-ins are welcome starting at 5 PM.
Meantime, behold a full summer schedule of Monday Night Foodball below:
6/27: Chinese-Viet-inspired barbecue from Charles Wong of Umamicue
7/4: Off for Independence Day
7/25: Asian stoner snacks from SuperHai
8/22: Vargo Brother Ferments
8/29: the triumphant return of Funeral Potatoes