Charleston's Les Dames d'Escoffier chapter hosting fundraiser
By Helen Mitternight
That history, both the culinary and the cultural, will be on the menu when Amethyst Ganaway does an online cooking demonstration of shrimp Purloo.
Nearly every menu in the Lowcountry offers rice to accompany the area’s other riches such as seafood, chicken or okra. Seldom does the menu list the hidden ingredient in rice — the intellectual property and labor of slaves. That history, both the culinary and the cultural, will be on the menu when Amethyst Ganaway does an online cooking demonstration of shrimp Purloo.
“Carolina Gold made Charleston one of the wealthiest cities in the country,” Ganaway says. “When people talk about the Lowcountry, everybody sees the beautiful buildings and the cobblestone streets and the romantic views, but the Lowcountry conveniently doesn’t have to realize where all this beauty and wealth came from: the labor of enslaved Black people.”
Participants will be able to cook along in their own kitchens or save the recipe to use later.
The cooking demonstration is part of an ongoing series of fundraisers for theCharleston chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier,an international philanthropic group of women in food, beverage and hospitality. The proceeds go to the group’s scholarship fund for women in those industries. Ganaway will be not only talking about rice, but also showing how to use it in shrimp Purloo as part of the demonstration. Participants will be able to cook along in their own kitchens or save the recipe to use later.
“Rice is important to Black people because of its connection to West Africa. People love Gullah food, but they forget that none of this would have been possible — Charleston would not have existed — without that labor and intellectual labor of slaves. People need to be more open and honest and discuss where Carolina Gold comes from.”
How to attend
Dame Demo: The Story of Rice in the Lowcountry is set to take place April 25 from 5 – 6:30 p.m. via a Zoom link that will be sent to participants 24 hours in advance.Tickets are available for purchase here.