Recipes for the 4th of July

The Fourth of July meal makes me think of a barbecue. And when I think of barbecue, I think of my grandfather James Howard, a pit master who owned the Dame Bones barbecue shake on Santa Monica Boulevard in West Los Angeles for 30 years and Used to drive

He grew up picking cotton in Texas, learned to cook in the Marines and later opened a cozy home here in LA, I have his newspaper clippings sitting in front of a large plate of beef ribs at Dam Bones. Laughing from ear to ear, with blues playing in the background, I’m sure. I spent a lot of time with him as the son of working single mother Freda Drillk, and both my grandparents have had a profound effect on my life.

My grandmother, Marcia Howard, made sure I knew my Jewish and black history, and what she herself did with great pride in the civil rights movement. She often reminded me of how she was “arrested” while in her mother’s womb, when my grandmother, who was about to be arrested, was protesting in New York in the 1930s, a few months after Marcia. Were pregnant I saw my grandmother Activists and fight for the rights of civilians, women and farm workers until they die.

Her Jewish Bronx upbringing was the opposite of my grandfather’s upbringing in rural Texas, but somehow they worked their magic together and never failed to get me on the show. I spent a lot of time in my grandfather’s restaurant after school but didn’t really know I wanted to cook until he retired for a few years.

Martin Drillk’s roasted beans are made in this American classic with ketchup, brown sugar and lots of spices for warmth and sweetness.

(Ricardo de Aratana / Los Angeles Times)

When I decided to follow in my grandfather’s footsteps in the world of cooking, I started as a pastry cook around 2008, working under Chef Joe Miller at Joe’s Restaurant. It was there that I met my good friend and cooking mentor Brian Dinsmore. Brian looked at me from the beginning and then told me that one day I would become a pastry chef in one of his restaurants.

Brian, of course, will make his mark on the LA restaurant scene with the pop-up projects Wolf in Shapes Clothing and the Heart and the Hunter, while I worked at Mello & Olive, where I started moving away from pastries. What In pizza and delicious cooking. I was fortunate to be with her Dunsmoor in 2014 at her newly opened Ladies Gun Boat Society, on Sawtelle Boulevard, as a line kicker, before following her as her sauce chef at Hatchet Hall and Eventually, she was fortunate enough to be reunited with her chef.

My time at Hatchet Hall was life-changing. I was dining with my mother in her building on Washington Boulevard when I was probably 8 years old, when it was known as Crest House and of course our No. 1 neighborhood. To come back and help run this new place, I knew it was going to be special, but I couldn’t figure out how much it was.

This is where the Hemings & Hercules project was conceived.

The My Hemings & Hercules dinner actually started with a project called Fuss & Feathers at Brian’s Hatchet Hall, which explores the eating habits of the earliest Southern settlers and their wood-cooking techniques. Done I tried to read the same or similar books and historical references that Brian did, and I saw the stories of James Hemings and Hercules Posey, the chefs, and the slave property of Thomas Jefferson and George Washington. They are also responsible for feeding us things like french fries, ice cream and macaroni and cheese.

I approached Brian with the idea of ​​a spin-off project based around the two that I could put together using the same format. I expected to have dinner only a few times before doing anything different. I couldn’t imagine where it would take me.

The last few years have been very lucky for me, despite the fact that everything in the world is going on. I was a small part of Netflix’s amazing documentary series “High on the Hog” and was featured for my work in the LA Times 101 restaurant issue last year.

Those things and more are developed in the experience of the Blackpot Super Club, where I tell untold stories of the effects of black cooking in the United States and revolve around recipes inspired by these men and women. Something happens while cooking in an open stove. Wood fire and coal, as they traditionally did.

Watch the LA Times this evening at 7pm on Channel 1 on Spectrum News 1 or live stream on the Spectrum News app. Palos Verdes Peninsula and Orange County viewers can watch Channel 99 on Cox Systems.

Dinner is now held primarily at the Crane Shaw District Post & Beam and includes items such as Hoggs Head Cheese, Baked Rabbit and James Hemingway-inspired ice eggs, just one of two recipes from Hemingway. available. The macaroni and cheese recipe is also featured on our menu and adds a nice twist to the classic dish with the addition of sherry based permisons, pepper and cream. The beans are made the way I think my grandfather made them in Dam Bones, and the dessert is inspired by my early barley pastry days. For the main dish, I offer a recipe for grilled rabbit, which used to be a common game protein in those days.

Rabbit legs cooked with coriander, fennel and thyme.

Rabbit legs cooked with coriander, fennel and thyme.

(Ricardo de Aratana / Los Angeles Times)

None of my grandparents saw me cooking.

My grandfather passed away when I was in cooking school, and my grandmother moved to Florida soon after. I never imagined that when I would follow in her footsteps, it would be so magical for me that I would give my mother something great to boast about or Then I will end with that. Food and face in the local newspaper. I hope you enjoy these recipes this July 4th for recipes inspired by James Hemingway, Hercules Posey and my late grandfather James Howard.

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