Well, I certainly was while watching Netflix’s new four-part docuseries High on the Hog in preparation for my very fun and informative interview with chef and writer Stephen Satterfield.
Here’s the series synopsis, via Netflix:
Black food is American food. Chef and writer Stephen Satterfield traces the delicious, moving through-lines from Africa to Texas in this docuseries.
In the series, which is based on Dr. Jessica B. Harris’ book, High on the Hog: A Culinary Journey from Africa to America, Satterfield weaves the connection between Africa and America by traveling to an array of places such as Benin and Texas.
“Our cuisine, as African American people, is really hard to understand without giving it that African context,” Satterfield told Condé Nast Traveler. “The reason we begin in Dantokpa Market [in Benin] is because we can’t start to celebrate our Black food traditions of the U.S. South and beyond without understanding the providence of those African traditions. I hope that it encourages people to think about the origins of their own diets and deepen their understanding and appreciation for their own respective food culture.”
Because this series dives deep into the history of Black American food, we figured Satterfield would be the perfect contestant for our popular Black Ass Game. Particularly, we thought it would be fun for an actual professional chef to weigh in on forever-debates including sweet or savory grits, sweet potato pie or pumpkin pie, drums or flats and whether he messes with fried fish and spaghetti as a meal.
“My dad is from Gary [Indiana] and I think this must be a Midwest thing—my dad used to cook after church,” Satterfield recalled. “We used to have fried fish and spaghetti after church!”
“I did catch wind of that debate,” he continued. “It’s not as peculiar as it sounds. Tomatoes are kind of tart and acidic, fried fish [is] salty, crunchy...noodles are kind of neutral. So, it kind of makes sense!”
Check out the rest of his answers in the video above!
High on the Hog debuts May 26 on Netflix.