The Makers

Always: a season, a scene, a scent.
Parlor bread, blackened on a baking stone.
Hands at the stove in the corner.
Food is Love.

Chef Leigh-Ann Martin

Leigh-Ann Martin

The Project Chef

Elements: Salt; Molasses
Courses: Hot Pepper & Coconut Milk Broth, Pan Fried Saltfish n’ Dumplin; Sweet Cream Semifreddo w/ Molasses Caramel & Biscuit Crumble

Leigh-Ann Martin is a trained Chef and Administrative Professional based in the New York City area. In the business world, Leigh-Ann has worked at top finance and accounting firms and continues her career in the biopharmaceutical industry; she has consulted on projects for the 40Acres & A Mule Project, Black Food Folks; and has contributed to Food Insider, Ark Republic, Cooking Sense, and Tenderly Magazines. In the culinary world, Leigh-Ann followed her graduation from the Institute of Culinary Education with roles at Butter Restaurant and The Darby Supper Club. In 2018, she launched A Table For Four, an intimate dinner series that merges her Trini upbringing with her culinary training. Her series and work have been featured in The New York Times, Eater, The Washington Post, Vittles, and A Hungry Society. Leigh-Ann is a Trini ooman, whose work is motivated by a desire to preserve the regional foodways of the twin isles where she was born and raised. 

Follow Leigh-Ann @ChefLeighAnn

Rinaldo Walcott

The Professor

Elements: Ginger; Hot Peppers; Pomegranate, Cocoa/Cacao
Courses: Sweet Heat Lamb Ribs; Oven-roasted Halibut in Saltfish Gravy w/ Steamed Okra; Chocolate Rum Cake with Pomegranate Sauce

Rinaldo Walcott is Professor of Black Diaspora Cultural Studies at the University of Toronto. He is a Full Professor in the Women and Gender Studies Institute; and a member of the Graduate Program at the Institute of Cinema Studies. From 2002-2007 Rinaldo held the Canada Research Chair of Social Justice and Cultural Studies at OISE. Rinaldo is the author of Black Like Who: Writing Black Canada (Insomniac Press, 1997 with a second revised edition in 2003); he is also the editor of Rude: Contemporary Black Canadian Cultural Criticism (Insomniac, 2000); Queer Returns: Essays on Multiculturalism, Diaspora and Black Studies (Insomniac, 2016). With Idil Abdillahi, he co-authored BlackLife: Post-BLM and the Struggle for Freedom (ARP Books, 2019). As well Rinaldo is the Co-editor with Roy Moodley of Counselling Across and Beyond Cultures: Exploring the Work of Clemment Vontress in Clinical Practice (University of Toronto Press, 2010). Rinaldo’s teaching and research is in the area of Black diaspora cultural studies and postcolonial studies with an emphasis on questions of sexuality, gender, nation, citizenship and multiculturalism. As an interdisciplinary Black Studies scholar Rinaldo has published in a wide range of venues. His articles have appeared in journals and books, as well as popular venues like newspapers, magazines and online venues, as well as other forms of media. His most recent books are The Long Emancipation: Moving Towards Black Freedom from Duke University Press, 2021; and On Property (Biblioasis, 2021). He was born in Barbados.

Follow Rinaldo @blacklikewho

Tiffany-Anne Parkes

The Pastry Chef

Elements: Meyer Lemon, Sorrel
Course: “Miss(a) Chin” Meyer Lemon and Sorrel Tart

Tiffany-Anne Parkes is a culinary artist, self-trained pastry chef, educator and founder of Pienanny. A moniker (and infinite entendre) that sits at the intersection of feminism, art, and black cuisine, Pienanny focuses on fusing African, Caribbean, and European elements that reflect the global Black culinary experience. She continues to purposefully serve as an educator in institutions that are attended by a majority of Black youth who come from low-income households and neighborhoods that suffer most from the fundamental economic issue of scarcity. And in 2017, she formed Pienanny, a space where the most essential elements of culture – food, education, and community – work in tandem to promote cultural preservation and social change. Her practice of using pies and tarts as mediums for artistic expression and storytelling embodies the spirit of transformation – particularly within the context of food and beverage. In 2021, Tiffany launched a collaborative project and multimedia dining series A Seat Above the Table under the umbrella of Pienanny. A Seat Above The Table is a play on the idiom “a seat at the table” that denotes privilege and power reserved for a select homogenous few. Her use of the phrase “a seat above the table” is to reimagine and reconstruct this governmental fixture where traditionally both families and the state meet to come to an understanding of value. Exchanges at this table are about highlighting conversations between unlikely acquaintances, unfamiliar bodies and fostering a brave space that amplifies authentic dialogue and promotes healing for all. Her work has been featured in FlU News, The Slowdown, Bon Appetit Magazine (print), Afropunk Bites N Beats, Dine Diaspora, Eater, and Atlanta Magazine. She is also a  Grant Recipient of iFundWomen of Color.

Follow Tiffany and @aseatabovethetable

Dawn Cumberbatch

The Screenwriter

Element: Ground Provision
Course: Sweet Potato & Smoked Herring Croquettes w/ Tamarind Sauce

Dawn Cumberbatch is a screenwriter, archivist, and researcher. She is co-founder and managing director of Doux Doux Darling Productions Limited, a video and event production company; owns and manages Virtual Carnival, a creative agency specialising in interactive content; and is co-founder of The Caribbean Memory Project, a vernacular digital archive. A fierce advocate for local content with a broad diasporic scope, Dawn has written, produced, and directed several documentaries in Trinidad and Tobago, and throughout the Caribbean. She was line producer on The Ghost of Hing King Estate and the award-winning short film, Fish; production assistant and researcher on London-based Zenith Entertainment’s Our House/Our Home series for UKTV Style; associate producer for Marathon Films (Paris) for a series of children’s documentaries; and production assistant for Paris-based Dum Dum Films and Rituals Music. She worked as Stage and Business Manager to Producer with Nobel Laureate Derek Walcott and the Trinidad Theatre Workshop and at Arena Stage in Washington, D.C. as part of the company’s Allen Lee Hughes Fellowship for theatre practitioners of colour. Dawn is a graduate of the College of Communications at Boston University, where she pursued a degree in film and television, with an emphasis on screenwriting and production. Her script, Fresh Kills won first prize in the Gary Fleder/Scott Rosenberg Short Screenplay Competition.

Follow Dawn at @beherevirtually or @caribbeanmemory

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