Black, White, and the Grey: The Story of an Unexpected Friendship and a Beloved Restaurant
By Mashama Bailey, John O. Morisano
2021 • Lorena Jones Books
At The Grey restaurant in Savannah, Georgia, James Beard Award winner Mashama Bailey and restaurateur John O. Morisano are business partners and friends who are bridging their lived experiences—one meal, conversation, and business challenge at a time.
Black, White, and The Grey is a story about the mission, trials, and triumphs of two individuals with seemingly little in common—a Black woman chef from Queens, New York, and a White media entrepreneur from Staten Island—who partnered up, relocated to the South, and built a relationship and a restaurant they knew would get people talking about race, gender, class, and culture.
Bailey and Morisano take turns telling how they went from tentative business partners to dear friends as they turned a dilapidated formerly segregated Greyhound bus station into one of the most celebrated restaurants in the country. They recount their troubling and joyous times, disclosing how they came to understand their differences, recognize their biases, continuously challenge themselves and each other to be better, and always keep talking. Through it all, they display the vulnerability, humor, and humanity that anchor their relationship, showing how two citizens commit to playing a part in advancing equality through their own relationship and business against a backdrop of racism and inequality. In celebration of the food and drinks that bring people together, a recipe caps each chapter, peppering the narrative with food that’s important to Bailey, Morisano, and their story.
Those fascinated by food culture will savor the behind-the-scenes details of building and running a destination restaurant—in this case, one that is attempting to reshape the cultural conversation well beyond food.
Tags: #amplifymelanatedvoices, american regional, american south, Books, food writing, restaurants