Eric Adjepong, Ghanaian-American chef and co-founder of Pinch & Plate, has recently signed two book deals with Penguin Random House.
How does a chef get two book deals with the largest publishing conglomerate in the world? Adjepong was a finalist on the most recent season of the American reality television series, “Top Chef,” where he introduced viewers to a blend of African, Caribbean, and South American culinary traditions. He called his menu “The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Through Food.” Adjepong was the first West African contestant on the series, and quickly became a fan favorite.
In an interview with The New York Times, Alexander Smalls, a judge for “Top Chef,” explained the viewers’ disappointment when Adjepong got eliminated before showcasing his final meal. Smalls recalls, “Folks were really looking forward to his meal and felt like they had lost something by not getting to see it…It was more than a meal, it was educational.”
Fortunately, fans of Adjepong can now anticipate two books that build on his culinary journey: Adjepong’s first cookbook and children’s book are expected to release in 2022.
The cookbook, titled Sankofa, will be published by Clarkson Potter, a lifestyle group within Penguin Random House. Adjepong’s children’s book will be published by the Penguin Workshop and is yet untitled.
Adjepong details his plans for the children’s book in an interview with Food & Wine magazine.
“The children’s book is a love letter to my daughter, really,” says Adjepong. “She’s two, so she’s at the perfect age to be a sponge.” The chef had yet to come across a children’s book that talked about the food he grew up eating, and realized that writing one could encourage a new generation of kids to pursue the culinary arts as a viable career path.
Congratulations to Eric Adjepong!
Brittle Paper readers and foodies who want to learn more about African cuisine in the diaspora can check out Ozoz Sokoh’s Feast Afrique, a free digital library of African cookbooks and culinary history.