Author, Lecturer, Consultant, Culinary Historian, Professor Emerita,
Queens College, City University of New York; Brooklyn, New York
The author, editor, or translator of eighteen books that range from culinary histories to memoir and cookbooks, Professor Jessica B. Harris is one of the world’s leading authorities on the food and foodways of the African Diaspora.
Born in Queens, New York, Professor Harris attended the United Nations International School and the High School of Performing Arts before earning her A.B. in French from Bryn Mawr and her M.A. at Queens College, New York. After conducting research in Africa for her doctoral dissertation, she received her Ph.D. from New York University.
In addition to lecturing widely, consulting internationally, and writing extensively for both scholarly and popular publications, Professor Harris has been the recipient of three James Beard Foundation Awards for her work regarding the food and history of the African diaspora. Professor Harris’s 2011 book, High on the Hog: A Culinary Journey from Africa to America, won the International Association of Culinary Professionals’ Food History Award in 2012 and, in May 2021, premiered as a four-part Netflix documentary series, a work that won an NAACP Image Award. She was the 2020 James Beard Lifetime Achievement awardee and one of TIME’s “100 Most Influential People” of 2021.
A professor emerita at Queens College, CUNY, Professor Harris resides in New York City, Martha’s Vineyard, and New Orleans.