Chef Ray Anthony Barrett reconciles life through food and art

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Ray Anthony Barrett discusses bringing Hoppin’ John, traditionally served on New Year’s Day, to Juneteenth, which also celebrates new beginnings. Photo by Rusty Baldwin.

Ray Anthony Barrett stepped back from a career as an artist to express himself through food. As other chefs pivoted to takeout, he decided to retreat from Los Angeles and hit reset. With his catering business Cinqué, Barrett collaborated with Minh Phan of porridge+puffs for a Juneteenth menu for the past two years. He is celebrating differently this month and returns to Los Angeles, where he will join LA Times staff writer Donovan X. Ramsey in discussion of Black foodways with Kevin Bludso, John Cleveland, and Kim Prince via Zoom on June 19 at 6 pm.


Barrett and Minh Phan teamed on a Juneteenth takeout feast in June 2020 that included Hoppin’ John, cornbread, and braised greens. Photo by Bill Addison.

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Evan Kleiman