As the president travels across this nation, and when he gets a break from the major problems that he is confronted with he does take time to eat. However, on every occasion it appears he is eating commercial food. I would hope that those around him remember that there are cooks whose food is absolutely delicious and nutritious.
I know some will say, “With all the problems in America why should what and where the president eats be important?”
What ever the president does and says can be extremely important. For example, Black businesses are struggling as they never struggled before and are in a dire straits and need help. If the president should happen to frequent a Black restaurant it just might encourage more customers—Black and White—to patronize them. I am not familiar with Black cooks nationwide but it is obvious to me that there are many.
Do you recall the old saying that states necessity is the mother of invention? In our communities we were often compelled by circumstances beyond our control that we had to take less and do more with it. Great-great-grandmother, great-grandmother, grandmother and even mamma had to be considered a miracle cook when it came to providing for the family.
How many of us grew up eating in places where those doing the cooking were referred to as a chef? Is there a difference between a chef and a cook? The dictionary defines both as preparers of food, but I disagree, because there are cooks who make food taste like rubber and cooks who make the same food melt in your mouth.
If I had known that I was going to write this column a few weeks ago I would have asked the readers to send in some names of those living or dead in your community that would be considered an exceptional cook. However, I will list two names of super cooks whose food I ate along with many Whites and Blacks, famous and everyday people in Hill District’s restaurants. They were Mama Lucy and Ma Pitts. These two talented Black women died before Obama became president so they missed a golden opportunity of seeing a Black president. And our president was never being able to taste their cooking.
I would hope that when G-20 comes to Pittsburgh that some of those with the president’s agenda would include the successor to Mama Lucy and Ma Pitts. She is located in the strip at 16th Street and Penn Avenue and her name is Brenda. The restaurant is Big Mamma’s.
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(Louis “Hop” Kendrick is a weekly contributor to the Forum Page.)