CELEBRATION IS CENTRAL to a well-lived life according to Nicole A. Taylor. And the author of “Watermelon and Red Birds: A Cookbook for Juneteenth and Black Celebrations,” published this month by Simon & Schuster, knows a thing or two about revelry. The Georgian-born food writer has spent years curating menus for Juneteenth, a federal holiday on June 19 that commemorates the emancipation of African Americans in the U.S.
“This book is meant to be light on the joys of fine dining and heavy on the weight of history,” writes Ms. Taylor. Sophisticated warm-weather recipes, such as zucchini corndogs, strawberry and black pepper pie, and caraway butter trout, hold a resounding truth: food can provide an opportunity to reflect on its painful history, reimagine current challenges, and honor innovations introduced by black Americans. From her home in Athens, Georgia, Ms. Taylor shared more tips, insights, and the potato salad recipe you’ll be making from now on.