Shared Soul: A Culinary Journey from West & Central Africa to the American South With Michael Twitty - Atlas Obscura Experiences
THE GASTRO OBSCURA BOOK An eye-opening journey through the history, culture, and places of the culinary world. Just released! The Gastro Obscura book is here! Order Now

Shared Soul: A Culinary Journey from West & Central Africa to the American South With Michael Twitty

$95 per device Online Experience
3 sessions
See Dates
$95 per device
$95 per person
See Dates
What We’ll Do

In this three-part lecture series, join Michael W. Twitty as he traces the historical culinary connections between West and Central Africa and the American South.

Course Description

Join James Beard Award–winning culinary historian Michael W. Twitty on a cultural journey from West and Central Africa to the American South, exploring the deep and enduring connections across the Atlantic world. Drawing from Michael’s research and gastronomic experiences across West Africa and the American South, each session will trace the histories of regional cuisines, ingredients, and dishes, complete with a Q&A segment and sample recipes for you to try on your own. By the end of the course, you’ll have a richer appreciation of the culinary contributions of Africa and her Diaspora and a fuller understanding of American food.

Syllabus at a Glance

There are three total sessions included in this purchase, each lasting for 1.5 hours on three consecutive Wednesdays beginning February 24.

Session 1 (Wednesday, 2/24, 7–8:30 PM ET): Chesapeake & Upper South

Session 2 (Wednesday, 3/3, 7–8:30 PM ET): Low Country & Lower South 

Session 3 (Wednesday, 3/10, 7–8:30 PM ET): Lower Mississippi Valley & Gulf Coast 

Between Sessions

Outside of class, students will have the option to engage with videos and recipes related to course content.  

Atlas Obscura Online Courses

Our online courses offer opportunities for participants to emerge with new skills, knowledge, connections, and perspectives through multi-session classes designed and taught by expert instructors. Courses can take one of two forms: Seminars are intimate, interactive classes—capped at nine to 25 students—exploring topics and crafts through discussion, workshops, assignments, and in-class activities. We also offer lecture series that can be attended live, or viewed via a recording that will be shared within 72 hours after each session airs. Class recordings for lecture series will be available with a temporary password for up to two weeks following the final session of the course.

To learn more about our current course offerings, please visit

For answers to commonly asked questions, check out our FAQ page here.

Where We’ll Be

Once registered, you’ll receive a confirmation email from Eventbrite that will provide access to each class meeting. Please save the confirmation email as you’ll use it to access your course via Zoom on each scheduled date and time.

About Your Instructor
Michael Twitty
Michael Twitty

Michael W. Twitty is a culinary historian and food writer from the Washington D.C. area. He blogs at He’s appeared on Bizarre Foods America with Andrew Zimmern, Many Rivers to Cross with Henry Louis Gates and most recently Taste the Nation with Top Chef's Padma Lakshmi. HarperCollins released Twitty’s The Cooking Gene, in 2017, tracing his ancestry through food from Africa to America and from slavery to freedom, a finalist for The Kirkus Prize and The Art of Eating Prize and a third place winner of Barnes & Noble's Discover New Writers Awards in Nonfiction. The Cooking Gene won the 2018 James Beard Award for best writing as well as book of the year, making him the first Black author so awarded. His piece on visiting Ghana in Bon Appetit was included in Best Food Writing in 2019 and was nominated for a 2019 James Beard Award.

What Else You Should Know

This lecture series is designed so students can participate live or watch a recording after each session airs. Sessions will take place live over Zoom, with dedicated Q&A segments for students to ask questions via video or chat. Within 72 hours after each session airs, we will email all enrolled students a recording of the session, which they can watch using a temporary password for up to two weeks after the course concludes.

In most cases, instructors will use Google Classroom to communicate with students outside of class. While students aren’t required to use Google Classroom, instructors will be using this platform to post resources, discussion questions, and assignments, when applicable.

Dates and Availability

There are no upcoming experiences at the moment. Fill out the form below to be notified when we add new dates.

All fields required.
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.