By JJ Johnson and Alexander Smalls with Veronica Chambers 

Published by Flatiron Books

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James Beard Foundation Book Awards - American Cookbook Nomination (2019)

Food 52's Piglet Tournament of Cookbooks - Selection (2019)

Selected as an Best New Cookbook

Praise for Between Harlem and Heaven

Between Harlem and Heaven presents a captivatingly original cuisine. Afro-Asian-American cooking is packed with unique and delicious layers of flavor. These stories and recipes lay praise to the immense influence the African Diaspora has had on global cuisine.”
— Sean Brock

“This is more than just a cookbook. Alexander and JJ take us on a culinary journey through space and time that started more than 400 years ago,on the shores of West Africa. Through inspiring recipes that have survived theMiddle Passage to seamlessly embrace Asian influences, this book is a testimony to the fact that food transcends borders. Alexander Smalls and JJ Johnson have elevated the cuisines of West Africa and its diaspora without losing any of its essence. Afro-Asian cuisine is a new concept and it works beautifully!”
— Chef Pierre Thiam

"Between Harlem and Heaven is a celebration of food, culture, and the historic legacy of proud people unsung. This is the story of resilience and reverence, of people farming and cooking from one continent to the other, making delicious flavors in every pot. Alexander's culinary vision captures the essence, contribution, and influence of the African Diaspora, and is the result of his passionate, life-long adventure. There's no better place than the cradle of African American culture itself, between heaven and Harlem. This book is one good time of great dishes and interesting stories." — Cicely Tyson


In two of the most renowned and historic venues in Harlem, Alexander Smalls and JJ Johnson created a unique take on the Afro-Asian-American flavor profile. Their foundation was a collective three decades of traveling the African diaspora, meeting and eating with chefs of color, and researching the wide reach of a truly global cuisine; their inspiration was how African, Asian, and African-American influences criss-crossed cuisines all around the world. They present here for the first time over 100 recipes that go beyond just one place, taking you, as noted by The New Yorker, “somewhere between Harlem and heaven.”

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