Octavia Books hosts Dillard University recipe book signing

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The newly released “Recipes and Remembrances of Fair Dillard, 1869-2019” tells the culinary history of Dillard University through notes and recipes from celebrities, civil rights activists, Dillard alumni, and more. (Camille Barnett, GentillyMessenger.com)

Food historian, educator, and author Zella Palmer will present her recently published “Recipes and Remembrances of Fair Dillard, 1869-2019” this Sunday, March 8. Using recipes and research, Palmer’s book documents the African American culinary history of New Orleans through the lens of Dillard University. She will be signing copies of her work for 2 p.m. at Octavia Books, 513 Octavia St.

The event page describes the collection as follows:

This cookbook shares over eighty years of international and indigenous New Orleans Creole recipes collected from the community, friends of the university, campus faculty, staff, and students, providing readers with a glimpse into the rich food culture of African-Americans in New Orleans. Recipes and Remembrances of Fair Dillard is dedicated to Dillard University alumni, faculty, staff, friends, and family who enjoyed past campus festivals, dinners, picnics, Monday red beans and rice with fried chicken, and Friday fish frys in Kearny Dining.

“Recipes and Remembrances” Author & Curator Zella Palmer

Palmer wants to combat the shortage of cookbooks that feature African American New Orleans. This collection is a start.

“All of this is living history. One hundred years from now, if we don’t put it on paper, it’s going to go to the grave with us,” she said in regards to the project’s purpose. “I’m just trying to make sure that we document what we’re eating, and the material culture, so that we have evidence that these are our stories, these are our traditions.”

Copies of “Recipes and Remembrances of Fair Dillard, 1869-2019” are available now at Octavia Books and online via Amazon.

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