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Between Harlem and Heaven: Afro-Asian-American Cooking for Big Nights, Weeknights, and Every Day

4.24  ·  Rating details ·  105 ratings  ·  15 reviews
Between Harlem and Heaven presents a captivatingly original cuisine. Afro-Asian-American cooking is packed with unique and delicious layers of flavor. These stories and recipes lay praise to the immense influence the African Diaspora has had on global cuisine.”
— Sean Brock

This is more than just a cookbook. Alexander and JJ take us on a culinary journey through space and
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published February 6th 2018 by Flatiron Books
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Marisha Murphy
Sep 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
From cover to cover this thoughtful book full of recipes is also full the spirt harem brings. Each page has so much flavor and color! The recipes are simple enough to follow but offer different foods and spices that one might not normally cook with. I loved the photos and display of culture all throughout the cookbook. The best part is the interview in the back between all the contributing chefs. They share stories, experiences, and perspectives I found to be beautiful. This is definitely a good ...more
May 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the most moving things I've read lately. Yes, it has recipes..... but I would not consider it solely a cookbook. It is a historically accurate legend of the African diaspora and traces food, culture and the daily lives of people who have been so often given short shrift. Alexander Smalls is a hero (as well as a Tony, Grammy-winning opera singer) and he writes as beautifully as he speaks. The story of how Harlem became such an amazing place is his to tell..... he has become a resta ...more
Dec 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
I'm giving this four stars for the presentation, the writing, and the photography. All those aspects as fantastic! But for me, the recipes are just more than I have the time or energy to handle these days as most of them take 45 minutes plus (some as long as several hours). It's also not a vegetarian cookbook, so there's a large portion of it that's completely useless to me, although I must say that the veggie recipes that are here look delicious!

Another story of would-love-to-visit-this-person
Jun 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This cook book is a book of love, love of many versions of preparing a variety of foods including standard “Cornbread” which I just happened to have an iron skillet that was given me by my Mom. Another is the caramelized onions which I can just enjoy with most meats and sometimes a meal in itself. Roast sweet potatoes is a keeper. There are many more which I plan to create as time goes by. I am glad to say it is not a cookbook where one size or recipe fits all. Instead its one which one tries ot ...more
Oct 27, 2020 rated it liked it
this cookbook introduced me to the criss-crossing culinary histories of various countries and cultures in africa and asia. i gleaned some harlem history by reading the co-authors' essays, but i found myself most engaged by chef jj johnson's recipe blurbs. he consistently calls out the intent behind the ingredients that he selects, which helped me efficiently gain foundational knowledge of the afro-asian-american "mirepoix" and other key sauces and flavors. though some recipes were too cheffy for ...more
May 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
This cookbook is very chef-fy. Most of the recipes have side recipes, and though the times are mostly accurate, they don't take into account chopping time (or recipe within a recipe time). That said, of the dishes I made from the book, I like the majority of them. I found the salads were the only area were the book faltered (one was due to how they wanted me to cook the beets, the other just wasn't that good). On the other hand, I know I will be making the tofu gnocchi again, as it was really go ...more
Mar 13, 2021 rated it it was amazing
From the moment you open this book until you close the back cover, you can almost feel, smell, and taste the food of Harlem. The full-color photos are outstanding and the recipes easy to follow. A book definitely to add to your collection.
Feb 18, 2021 rated it really liked it
On top of just being a very beautiful book, the culinary history of the Afro-Asian-American flavor profiles they aspire to bring to the table as a way to honor the heritage foods of "the foodway that reflects the depth and breadth of the African diaspora" is eye opening. ...more
Mar 07, 2021 rated it really liked it
Amazed by the narration of Harlem as a cultural center, including food. The recipes are delicious and unique. There is a line in the book about the opera yet to be sung, this is the recipe yet to be cooked. Recommended.
Sharon T.
Apr 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
I think my favorite line ever! "Are collard Greens the new Kale? No, Collards have worked harder than kale ever will. Collards are out there digging ditches and roofing houses while kale goes to spin class and leaves early for brunch." Great stories and interesting recipes. ...more
Tatum Hamernik
Jun 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Giving this book a five-star review because it contains amazing recipes along with the history of Harlem and where the Afro-Asian American foods originated from. I also saw JJ on Netflix's show Somebody Feed Phil while I was reading the book, which was so cool! ...more
May 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: to-purchase
This book hits on several levels. It is a culinary history and a great cookbook. And it is beautiful.
Apr 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Always interesting to learn about new cooking styles and try foods you never have before. Highly recommend checking this one out!
Feb 29, 2020 added it
Letta Raven
Jun 24, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is so beautiful! I haven't had a chance to cook out of it, but between the photos, the recipes, and the stories, you will not find a moment wasted. I am excited to be able to try the recipes! ...more
Monica Gould
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