Root was born from a deep love. A love for community has driven all my work across many fields: as a chef, as a professor, a museum curator, and as an artist. Everyone eats, and connecting people with their food also connects us to each other.
But it was my love for history and for cooking that gave me the keys to build community. These intertwined loves have followed me all my life, popping up in unexpected places, and sending me on journeys of expansion and discovery.
Many people I talk to crave the same understanding: they want to feel connected to their food, they want to use it to connect to others, and they want to use it to understand themselves and their own place in history. However, the prospect of diving in to the study of food history feels intimidating, and they often don’t know where to start. How do you research this stuff? What if you have trouble understanding the recipes? What if you only barely know your way around the kitchen?
I wanted to make the history of food feel approachable to everyone, from the novice who’s rarely turned on the stove to the accomplished cook who is craving something new.
My goal is to expand the community of food history to include you: whether you’re just looking for some new things to cook or looking for a starting point on a path to deeply understand your food, I want to create a space that’s welcoming and collaborative or you. Here is a space to build up your skills, to discover a new passion, and to, if you want, branch off on your own path of learning.
Root is more than just recipes. Root is also built on stories. Each week, I send Root members some favorite historic recipes, modified to speak to modern kitchens and modern ingredients. I use my knowledge as a researcher and a teacher to tell you about where they came from, and how they connect to us in the modern world. The longer you’re a part of the Root community, the more those stories build upon themselves, helping you see the food you make as a part of a larger interconnected and complex web of history.
I use this same passion to inform my work with organizations and creative professionals. I love the history of food, and recognize its centrality in every aspect of our lives. If you want to see how to work with me more closely on a project, you can go here.
As root grows, the vision of community building grows too. Root’s next stages will include lots of classes, community dinners, food history events, and more.
In particular, I’ll be bringing fermented foods and fermentation education to the Atlanta community and beyond, to give chefs high quality ingredients to facilitate the magic they make every day, and to empower individuals to reduce food waste and create delicious and healthy ferments for themselves.
Eventually, Root will reach even farther by bringing food education and creative engagement through art and cooking to underserved communities, sharing the healing power of food, combined with art and storytelling, with the people who need it most. It’s an exciting journey, and I’m glad you’re along for the ride.
“In the modern glut of recipes and cooking sites, Root not only offers delicious recipes and interesting historical knowledge – it constantly reminds me how integral cooking is to our sense of humanity. Everything – every era, every culture, every family – is defined by its own foods while we are connected as the cooking species. Root is more than recipes; it re-infuses the kitchen, the pantry, and the dinner table with meaning.” -Kimmy Coburn, The Homestead Atlanta
“Root demonstrates Julia Skinner’s ability to bring people together through her infectious enthusiasm about food. This merged with her ability to make food history relevant and accessible will bring people together over reimaginings of long-forgotten dishes.”-Katie Lapp, teacher and Root community member
In the Press