Food historian, author brings ‘High on the Hog’ to UW-Stevens Point campuses

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Jessica B Harris

The culinary historian who wrote the book that inspired the Netflix miniseries “High on the Hog” visited the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point Oct. 25-27, 2022. [View Photos]

Jessica B. Harris, who is considered by many to be one of the ranking authorities on the food of the African Diaspora – or scattering of the culture, spent three days with UW-Stevens Point students, faculty and community members.

She enjoyed daily meals in the CPS Café and spoke with students in food, history and health courses. Community members also had the opportunity to hear from Harris during presentations in Wausau (“Hawkers to Caterers to Restaurateurs – Pathways to Wealth in the African Atlantic World”) and Stevens Point (“Same Boat Different Stops: Culinary and Cultural Connections in the African Atlantic World”). Harris also hosted a screening of episode 1 of “High on the Hog” for students.

Harris was named to the 2021 TIME Most Influential People list and won the James Beard Lifetime Achievement Award in 2020. She consults internationally, is leading the Culinary Institute of America’s team to establish an African Diaspora concentration and worked with the Smithsonian Museum of African American History and Culture, conceptualizing its cafeteria. She holds degrees from Bryn Mawr College, Queens College/CUNY, The Université de Nancy, France, and New York University.

Her visit was part of the 120-year celebration of home economics at UW-Stevens Point, which includes several events this fall.

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