Okra Soul Soup: In previous episodes we’ve certainly talked a lot about eating okra, but this is our first deep dive into a specific dish: Okra Soup. We are very fortunate to have interviewed two incredible Charleston natives, Chef BJ Dennis and Chef Amethyst Ganaway, who help weave a narrative of food and people and deep roots stretching back to West Africa. Okra soup is certainly delicious, and be prepared to salivate during the whole episode, but it's also a connection to community and culture beyond it's varied ingredients.
Meet our Guests
Jesse James Wilder: Rebekka's dad was born and raised on James Island SC and is responsible for Rebekka's love of okra soup, and therefore most likely this very episode of The Okra Pod Cast! Rebekka captured a short recording of some okra soup memories!
Chef BJ Dennis: A Charleston native who has dedicated much of his life to exploring, learning and sharing his passion for cooking food that celebrates his Gullah roots. BJ Dennis has been featured and interviewed in articles, TV shows and podcasts across the country. If you follow BJ on instagram then you’ll know he loves okra, but with everything BJ cooks and shares there is underlying knowledge about people and places and culture. That just about makes BJ Dennis a perfect guest for our podcast! Follow him on Facebook.
Chef Amethyst Ganaway: Amethyst is originally from North Charleston SC, where she discovered her passion for food early on and was lucky enough to learn how to cook in her grandma’s kitchen. Today, Amethyst is a professional chef, writer, and recipes developer. She received the 2020 prestigious LDEI culinary award and has been featured in many publications to date, most recently in the New York Times Magazine. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram and check out her writing at the Geechee Gordita.
We hope you enjoyed the music outtakes from, The Okra Song, courtesy of Hot Tamale.
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Chris Smith is a seed saver and permaculturist who loves to write. He is executive director of the Utopian Seed Project, a crop-trialing non-profit working to celebrate food and farming. His book, The Whole Okra, won a James Beard Foundation Award in 2020. More info at blueandyellowmakes.com and utopianseed.org or on Instagram.
Rebekka White is an okrapreneur, artist, and lifelong learner. She believes in planting seeds and growing visions. Her work is committed to building a village that respects and values the contributions of all its inhabitants. Contact her on Instagram at the_wildokra_projects.