About Last Night

Salon Series: Hanging with Hilton in Harlem

By Heeseung Kim | February 25, 2014


Last night was the second installation of Ginny’s Salon Series, featuring writer and critic Hilton Als. The White Girls author chose ten notable books to discuss over dinner, and the reading list included works such as Drown, Tar Baby, and Brown Girl, Brownstones. It was this last book that was Als’s mother’s favorite—he recalls, “The only way my mother got peace was to lock herself in the bathroom and read.”—and was also one of the books that first revealed Als’s own passion for literature and his deep need to express it.


Als examined the tie between literature and hospitality, noting, “The marvelous thing about cooking is how it bring people together.” And a full room at Ginny’s was indeed brought together with a delicious menu inspired by Als’s reading list. The five-course menu was as follows, and also included wine pairings:

Drown by Junot Diaz
Camarones Tostones, Chicharone, Frijoles Negro

First Course
Tar Baby by Toni Morrison
Brown Girl, Brownstones by Paule Marshall
The Gulf by Edward P. Jones
Salt Baked Red Snapper, Roasted Corn Cou Cou Coconut Broth

Second Course
Go Tell it on the Mountain by James Baldwin
Lost in the City by Edward P. Jones
A Street in Bronzeville by Gwendolyn Brooks
Braised Bacon, Butter Beans, Fried Egg
Crispy Cockscomb, Corn Bread

Lady Sings the Blues by Billie Holiday
Cane by Jean Toomer
Tenderloin of Beef, “Corned” Brisket Croquette
Morel- Savoy Cabbage Ragout, Marrow Sauce

Annie John by Jamaica Kincaid
“The Red Girl”


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