Design & Living / AnOther Thing I Wanted to Tell You

NYC Culinary Collective Ghetto Gastro Talk Solange Knowles

“A Seat at the Table is very important, especially at this moment in time”

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Malcolm, John, Pierre and Lester are wearing their own clothes and shoes. Jute and acrylic pieces by Craig Green (worn on top)Photography by Danielle Neu, Styling by Nell Kalonji

“When I first heard A Seat at the Table I was like, ‘Shit.’ Knowing the folks that Solange surrounds herself with, I thought, ‘This is not a gimmick, this is like her life.’ I just loved it – the interludes from her mother and father, how she interweaves the storytelling with those moments, and how she is unapologetic with the blackness and the message. There is a lot of pain, a lot of tension, a lot of anger. But there’s a lot of joy, too, because we’re a joyful people. Don’t Touch My Hair is my favourite song. It’s about navigating these spaces and being black, how sometimes people take liberties, or assume things about you. A Seat at the Table is very important, especially at this moment in time when black power and liberation are being expressed through art and also having commercial success. Describe the album in one word? Can I use a phrase? Soul on ice.”

Jon Gray is probably the most politicised chef around. One quarter of Bronx-born culinary collective Ghetto Gastro, he and his collaborators Pierre Serrao, Lester Walker and Malcolm Livingston II work at “the intersection between food, design and community”. Exploring the cooking of the African diaspora, the group hosts parties around the world (including Rick Owens’ Thanksgiving do). Black power and liberation are at the heart of their modus operandi – whether it’s through cooking a dish known as feijoada, which stems from Brazil’s history of slavery, or creating a Black Bodies dessert that champions the cause of Black Lives Matter with a chalk outline of a body on the plate.

Hair: Shingo Shibata at The Wall Group for Rodin by Recine. Make-up: Laura Stiassni at The Wall Group using Sisley. Styling assistants: Rebecca Perlmutar, Kat Banas and Sunnie Fraser. Hair assistant: Keisuke Chikamoto

The Autumn/Winter 2017 issue of AnOther Magazine is on sale now.

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