The Missing Mix in Baking


A panel discussion about the need for diversity in the baking industry.

The first breadmaking machine was invented by Joseph Lee, a son of slaves. So, it’s a bit surprising that today’s bread-making industry presents such a stark lack of diversity. Award-winning author and renowned food historian, Toni Tipton-Martin will lead a frank discussion with well-known Chefs Adrian Lipscombe and Erika Council about the homogenous nature of the industry. What is it about the history and traditions of bread baking that have yielded so little professional diversity? Are the barriers to entry systemic at this point? What will it take to attract more young bread bakers of color? How do we reveal to them the economic viability of the profession, when so few bakers look like them? The distinguished women will share perspectives and insights based on their own pioneering careers in food & beverage. Their opinions are informed by first-hand experience and their vision for the future is enlightening as well as encouraging.

Toni Tipton-Martin 

Toni Tipton-Martin is a culinary journalist and author using cultural heritage and cooking to build community. She is Editor in Chief of Cook’s Country by America’s Test Kitchen and a two-time James Beard Award winner for her books on African American cooking.

Jubilee: Recipes From Two Centuries of African American Cooking, brings to life 125 dishes from the African American cookbooks in Toni’s rare collection through breath-taking photography and engaging storytelling. Jubilee is a James Beard Award winner, earned the IACP (International Association of Culinary Professionals) Book of the Year Award, and was named one of the “Cookbooks You Need for 2020” by the New York Times.

Jubilee is the follow-up to The Jemima Code: Two Centuries of African American Cook- books, which The New Yorker named one of the “Best cookbooks of the Century So Far.” For this celebration of the important legacy of African American cooks and their cookbooks, Toni received a 2016 James Beard Book Award, the 2016 Art of Eating Prize, and a 2015 Certificate of Outstanding Contribution to Publishing from the Black Caucus of the Library Association.

Toni was the first African American Food Editor of a major daily newspaper, the Cleve- land Plain Dealer, the nutrition writer for the Los Angeles Times, and a contributing editor to Heart and Soul Magazine. She is a co-founder and former president of both Southern Foodways Alliance and Foodways Texas. Toni is profiled in the 35th Annual Aetna African American His- tory Calendar and a member of the Advisory Board for Oldways’ African Heritage Diet Pyramid. She has been a featured speaker at book festivals, libraries, museums, universities and multiple food organizations.

Adrian Lipscombe

Adrian Lipscombe, a native Texan, is the owner of Uptowne Café.  She opened Uptowne Café restaurant on the Northside of La Crosse, WI to create a catalyst of urban change, and at the same time, she works with the community to help revitalize the area. Uptowne is a hearth for the community and also a community impact space. It carries an open-door policy and provides a safe haven to everyone in the community.  Adrian’s food focuses on southern cuisines by using local ingredients and working with farmers in the Coulee Regional and Organic Valley area. Being a Southerner and using Midwest ingredients has provided a wonderful synergy of exploring cultures, foraging, and creating innovative dishes. Adrian draws her inspiration and storytelling through experiences from life and African American culinary history to tell the story of African American influence in our food culture today. She combines her experience in Southern food and desserts to bring honest food to the table to feed friends, family, and the community.

Currently, Adrian is working on the 40 Acres Project. 40 Acres The project mission is to preserve the legacy of black agriculture and black foodways by the purchase of black-owned land to practice traditional Black agriculture methods to provide resources for the food industry, create education opportunities, safe haven for historical archive information on traditional Black agriculture and foodways and provide partnership with organizations, Black farmers, and the hospitality industry. 

Adrian also holds a Masters's in Architecture and is currently a Ph.D. Candidate in Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Texas at Austin concentrating on the behavior of minorities to land use and transportation.

Erika Council

Erika Council is the charismatic food writer, recipe developer, and photographer behind the popular website, Southern Soufflé. It is here the reader is taken through a brilliantly southern focused epic, with tales of food, love, and freedom. Erika has become a fixture in the southern culinary world with her popular Bomb Biscuit Company in Atlanta GA.Her work has been featured in The New York Times, Saveur, (where she was nominated 2016 Best of the Food Blog Awards for writing), Food and Wine Magazine, The Local Palate Magazine, Atlanta Magazine, Food 52, Complex Magazine, Design Sponge, The Kitchn, Essence Magazine, Huffington Post, and Yahoo.

In 2016 she was invited to be a guest chef for the James Beard Foundations Sunday Supper South, a sold-out event hosted by award-winning chef and restaurateur Anne Quatrano.Every year this event highlights the south's best, up and coming chefs.

She has also developed recipes for brands such as KitchenAid, Reynolds Wrap, Nutella, and many others.

Council has contributed to several cookbooks, Feed the Resistance By Juila Turshen (Chronicle Books),Soul by Todd Richards (Oxmoor House), Sunday Suppers by Cynthia Graubart (Oxmoor House) and is a contributing author of Beyond The Plate ( Prestel Publishing).

A highlight in her repertoire was being featured in the New York Times groundbreaking piece, An American Thanksgiving.

Outside of the kitchen, Erika has become a sought-after voice on the topic of African American food, social justice, and food's impact on the community. One such event is speaking at the Southern Foodways Alliance, the organization that is preserving the foodways of the south. She can also be found at The Atlanta History Center, hosting cooking demos and Sunday Suppers and speaking on the history of African American Cuisine and the social impact food has on communities.

Erika, currently, a resident of Atlanta Georgia, is a native of North Carolina, attributing her passion for food and community to her grandmothers. One of these grandmothers, Mildred (Mama Dip) Council, is a southern cooking icon, award-winning cookbook author, and owner of the famous Mama Dip’s Kitchen Restaurant in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.