In Houston, a Tasting Menu Designed to Confront Racism
Style Magazine Newswire | 10/5/2018, 12:13 p.m.
Chef Jonny Rhodes opened Indigo with his wife, Chana Rhodes, in July as the permanent follow-up to a series of pop-ups he started after leaving New York’s Gramercy Tavern. At Indigo, Rhodes wants his food to tell stories centered on African Americans and indigenous people. He calls his cuisine “neo-soul food” and describes it as “the new wave of survival food for people of color.” The references to oppression and survival carry through the restaurant’s food and service. At two seatings, diners sit around a 13-seat, U-shaped counter. Over the course of the five-course tasting, Rhodes presents each dish and explains how the ingredients on the plate reflect the struggles faced by black and indigenous people in America. Although neo-soul is a contemporary concept, Rhodes gets much of his culinary inspiration from the past — specifically, the African-American experience following the Civil War through the Great Depression anchors much of the menu.