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Hometown Party! Watermelons & Red Birds: Nicole A. Taylor in conversation with Michael B. Jordan

Watermelons and Red Birds by Nicole A.Taylor
Event date: 
Thursday, June 16, 2022 - 6:30pm to 8:00pm

Event Location

Fire Hall No. 2/Historic Athens
489 Prince Ave.
Athens, GA 30601

Avid Bookshop is honored to host food writer and cookbook author Nicole A. Taylor for a hometown party celebrating her newest work, Watermelon and Red Birds: A Cookbook for Juneteenth and Black Celebrations, the very first cookbook to celebrate Juneteenth. Nicole will be in conversation with Michael B. Jordan on Thursday, June 16, from 6:30pm - 8pm ET.

VENUE CHANGE: Due to the heat index, this community celebration has been moved to Fire Hall No. 2 (Historic Athens), 489 Prince Ave., Athens, GA 30601. This historic venue is beside the old location of Avid on Prince that is now The Lark. * This event will be mixed seated/standing. Arrive early for best seat selection.

For accessibility requests, contact Please submit your request two weeks before the event.

All copies of Watermelon and Red Birds will be signed by Nicole and have the option of being personalized. Include any personalization requests in the order comments at checkout.

To attend this author event, you must purchase a copy of the book from Avid Bookshop or the Avid Bookshop website here.

Your cookbook purchase is your ticket. Books can be purchased ahead of time or day-of.


Copies of Watermelon and Red Birds purchased from Avid Bookshop will come with a special exclusive bonus: an archival 5″ x 7″ color print of the Juneteenth Food Pyramid by George McCalman, creative director of Watermelon and Red Birds. The Juneteenth Food Pyramid is inspired by the grade school food pyramid and graphs from the turn of the twentieth century. George McCalman is an artist and creative director based in San Francisco. His design studio, McCalmanCo, collaborates with a wide range of cultural clients. He is a columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle. His Observed and First Person columns document Bay Area culture. His first book Illustrated Black History will be published in September 2022. We encourage you to preorder it from Avid here.


On June 19, 1865, more than two years after President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, Major General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston and issued General Order Number 3, informing the people of Texas that all enslaved people were now free. A year later, in 1866, Black Texans congregated with music, dance, and BBQs—Juneteenth celebrations.

All-day cook-outs with artful salads, bounteous dessert spreads, and raised glasses of “red drink” are essential to Juneteenth gatherings. In Watermelon and Red Birds, Nicole puts jubilation on the main stage. As a master storyteller and cook, she bridges the traditional African-American table and 21st-century flavors in stories and recipes. Nicole synthesizes all the places we’ve been, all the people we have come from, all the people we have become, and all the culinary ideas we have embraced.

Watermelon and Red Birds contains over 75 recipes, including drinks like Afro Egg Cream and Marigold Gin Sour; dishes like Beef Ribs with Fermented Harissa Sauce, Peach Jam and Molasses Glazed Chicken Thighs, Southern-ish Potato Salad and Cantaloupe and Feta Salad; and desserts like Roasted Nectarine Sundae and Radish and Ginger Pound Cake. Taylor also provides a resource to guide readers to BIPOC-owned hot sauce, jam, spice, and waffle mix companies and lists fun gadgets to make your Juneteenth special. These recipes and essays will inspire parties to salute one of the most important American holidays and to create opportunities to savor joy year-round.


Nicole A. Taylor is a James Beard Award–nominated food writer, master home cook, and producer. She has written for the New York Times, Bon Appétit, and Food & Wine. Nicole is the author of The Up South Cookbook and The Last O.G. Cookbook. She is the executive producer of If We So Choose, a short documentary about the desegregation of an iconic Southern fast food joint. Nicole is the cofounder of The Maroon, a marketplace and retreat house focused on radical rest for Black creatives. She lives in New York City and Athens, Georgia, with her husband and son.


Michael B. Jordan is an Atlanta-based writer and editor. His work has been published at The Wall Street Journal, Playboy, Rolling Stone, Eater, Thrillist, The Outline, Time Out, Atlanta Magazine, Creative Loafing, The Huntsville Times, and more. His 20+ years of experience includes content and editorial works/positions at Cox Media Group, InterContinental Hotels Group, Splash, Eventbrite, Cumulus Media, Entercom, and LaFace Records.

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Watermelon and Red Birds: A Cookbook for Juneteenth and Black Celebrations Cover Image
ISBN: 9781982176211
Availability: May be on our shelves or available in 5-7 business days
Published: Simon & Schuster - May 31st, 2022

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