State Museum to showcase Black Culinary Traditions May 18

The South Carolina State Museum is set to host an exciting event featuring rising culinary star Amethyst Ganaway on May 18 from 6:30 to 8:30 pm. The event, titled Harvesting Heritage: A History of Black Culinary Traditions in the Palmetto State, marks the beginning of a yearlong collaboration with Ganaway, a noted chef and food writer.

This special evening will explore the influential role of women in shaping culinary traditions. Attendees will enjoy an array of heavy hors d’oeuvres and a specialty cocktail, sampling modern interpretations of South Carolina culinary staples such as Lowcountry shrimp toast, Upstate peach and pea salad, PeeDee boiled peanuts, and Carolina Gold middlins. The event will feature a discussion with Amethyst Ganaway and renowned artist and storyteller Natalie Daise.

Amethyst Ganaway, born and raised in North Charleston, has gained national recognition through features in the New York Times, Food & Wine, and Garden & Gun. Known for her expertise in Southern and African American foodways, as well as the culinary traditions of the African Diaspora, Ganaway recently headlined the Charleston Wine + Food festival. Her work as a chef and food writer is dedicated to narrating the rich history, culture, art, cuisine, and environment of the region.

Starting in August, Ganaway will lead a series of six programs at the State Museum, delving into the diverse culinary traditions of South Carolina’s various regions. These programs will cover topics ranging from the tobacco culture and food traditions in the PeeDee to the culinary contributions of immigrant communities in the Upstate. This series aims to highlight the history and artistic expression inherent in South Carolina’s food traditions.

Ganaway expressed her enthusiasm for the collaboration: “I am so excited to partner with the State Museum to bring the stories, artistry and living history of the foodways of the many African American communities across our state to life. I look forward to engaging with my neighbors within each region, and to work alongside such a dedicated and established organization like the State Museum throughout 2024, 2025, and beyond.”

Tickets for Harvesting Heritage: A History of Black Culinary Traditions in the Palmetto State are priced at $50 for the general public and $40 for museum members. Each ticket includes access to event activities, food, and a drink voucher. Tickets are available for purchase at