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For comedian Travele Judon, cooking’s no laughing matter

ROLLINGOUT.COM — Rolling out caught up with stand-up comedian Travele Judon.

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By Melanie L. Brown

Rolling out caught up with stand-up comedian Travele Judon, who recently appeared as a contestant on the season 15 edition of Food Network’s “Worst Cooks in America.” He shared his experience on the show and his current projects.

How did you get involved with the show?
I tried out for the show back in January 2018, and they said they loved me and I was awesome, but they didn’t pick me. When they began casting in June 2018, I saw they were casting again and I was like, “Nope, nope, nope. I’m not applying again. That was too much work for a huge letdown.” Literally 15 minutes after I said it, the casting department emailed me, and I was like, “Nope I’m not responding.” Five minutes after the email came, they called me and said, “We want you,” and the rest is history.

Are you the worst cook?
I don’t think so. I was just good at fried chicken and fried chicken only. I sucked at everything else.

What is your favorite food to cook?
Fried chicken. All day. Every day.

What food do you ruin every time?
Pancakes. … Even on the show, I screwed them pancakes up again.

How was your experience on the show?
The show was amazing and challenging. We filmed long hours and couldn’t have our cell phones. That creates phone withdrawal. It takes a toll on you mentally as well because you have to adapt to a new way of doing things. Overall, I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.

When you think back, what would you have done differently on the show?
I can’t say I would do anything differently. I had fun, I learned and I made a lot of people laugh and smile along the way. Laughter is like medicine. I do wish I would’ve won the whole thing, so maybe that’s what I would do differently.

Three words that describe you?
Hilarious, generous, fearless.

How has being on the show changed your life?
Since being on the show, I have met so many nice people that loved the show, and it makes me happy that I was able to bring them joy. Many other doors have opened for me comedically, and even having the pleasure of co-hosting “Windy City LIVE” with Val Warner, who I have been a big fan of since her WGN news days.

Are you a better cook now?
No. I just know how to cook a few cool things in the kitchen, but I’m still lost.

What projects do you have coming up next?
I am currently working on my new stand-up comedy special, which I look to film real soon, and I will be the official tour host for Grammy-nominated gospel artist Jonathan McReynolds. [It] is called the “Make More Room” tour.

How can people book you?
For booking and information visit my website, www.travelejudon.com.

This article originally appeared in Rollingout.com

Community

Fourteenth Street Market Gives Community Healthy Alternatives in Oakland

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Photo credit: Auintard Henderson

Owner Oscar Edwards stands in front of his “14 Street Market” located at 416 14th St. in Oakland which opened on March 6.  Edwards says he “. . . built his grocery store to give access to his community and provide healthy alternatives and still have things they know as well.”  He adds that “Black press for him is the voice that helps to bring my ideas and expressions full circle to the people.”

“14 Street Market” is open 7 days a week, 10am – 8pm Monday through Saturday and 11am to 7pm on Sunday.  It’s your neighbor market with groceries, snacks, drinks and more.  

Follow them on IG:  https://instagram.com/fourteenthstreetmarket  

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Bay Area

Good Day Cafe

Good Day Cafe is a black-owned business located in Vallejo,Ca

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 Good Day Cafe is a Black-owned cafe  located at 304 Georgia St. in Vallejo. Their hours are from 7:00 a.m.- 3:00 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday. Good Day Cafe serves Southern-style breakfast and lunch meals. They offer online orders, dine in, and delivery. Visit their website to learn more information https://gooddaycafevallejo.com/ and follow their instagram @gooddaycafevallejo

 

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Community

Edna Lewis: Humanizing the Black Chef

In 1948, female chefs were few and far between; black female chefs were almost nonexistent. But that didn’t stop Lewis from partnering with John Nicholson, an “antique dealer and bohemian with a taste for high society,” to open her own restaurant. It was called Café Nicholson. Located on East 57th Street in Manhattan, the café quickly became legendary.

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For decades, chefs, food critics, and writers neglected Southern cooking. Stereotypes dehumanizing chefs remain an echo in black culture today, from Aunt Jemima, the so-called happy servant on the syrup bottle to the promise of black servitude flooding TV commercials targeted at white American travelers to the fictional character Uncle Ben, created to sell rice to those in black communities. But Edna Lewis (1916–2006) was real and a giant in the culinary world.
Lewis was born on her grandfather’s farm in the rural community of Freetown, Va., a town founded in the late 19th century by three formerly enslaved people. One was Lewis’ grandfather. He also started the first school in Freetown, holding classes in his living room.
Despite not having modern conveniences, Lewis learned to cook early on. Most of her cooking lessons were taught by her aunt, Jenny. The two would prepare food using a wood-fire stove. Without fancy spoons or scales, they used coins and measured seasonings the old-fashioned Southern way: piling baking powder on pennies, salt on dimes, and baking soda on nickels. It has been said that Lewis could tell when a cake was done “just by listening to the sound it was making.”
Lewis left home after the death of her father; she was 16 at the time. She first relocated to Washington, D.C. and later to New York City. There she took on jobs as a presser in a Laundromat and at the Daily Worker, a local newspaper. She took part in political demonstrations and campaigned for Franklin D. Roosevelt. But what Lewis didn’t know was that her cooking was about to make her a local legend in The Big Apple.
In 1948, female chefs were few and far between; black female chefs were almost nonexistent. But that didn’t stop Lewis from partnering with John Nicholson, an “antique dealer and bohemian with a taste for high society,” to open her own restaurant. It was called Café Nicholson. Located on East 57th Street in Manhattan, the café quickly became legendary.
Lewis did all the cooking. Her simple Southern dishes, the ones she learned to prepare on a wood-fire stove, attracted a crowd of famous faces: Tennessee Williams, Truman Capote, Richard Avedon, Gloria Vanderbilt, Marlene Dietrich, and Diana Vreeland. Business was great and Lewis was making a name in the culinary world.
Lewis stayed with the restaurant until 1954. Café Nicholson was sold years later to Chef Patrick Woodside.
In the late sixties, Lewis broke her leg and took a hiatus from cooking professionally. It was then that she began to compile some of her recipes. The result: the Edna Lewis Cookbook. In 1976 she wrote The Taste of Country Cooking, which became was one of the first cookbooks penned by an African-American woman to reach a nationwide audience.
Lewis’ teaching and cookbooks have influenced and inspired countless young chefs. She retired as a chef in 1992.

Source: https://www.thespruceeats.com/edna-lewis-1664995
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edna_Lewis
https://www.womenshistory.org/education-resources/biographies/edna-lewis
Image: https://www.eater.com/2017/1/7/14200170/edna-lewis-cookbook-bestseller-top-chef

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