HDI’s Cultural Envoy, Adrian Miller, Brings Nordic Soul to Norway January 22-25

The Humpty Dumpty Institute (HDI) works around the world to inform and foster dialogue amongst critical stakeholders on key global issues. We do this through our programs with the U.S. Congress and the United Nations, engaging young people, supporting cultural and sports diplomacy, and working on humanitarian programs. HDI employs cultural programming, including culinary diplomacy, to promote dialogue. We collaborate with U.S. Embassies and Consulates to share American culture and values worldwide.

Mr. Adrian Miller is one of HDI’s most requested cultural envoys. Adrian is an American culinary historian, lawyer, and public policy advisor. His books have twice won the James Beard Foundation Book Award for Reference and Scholarship: Soul Food in 2014 and Black Smoke in 2022. He is also the author of The President’s Kitchen Cabinet, which was nominated for a 2018 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work – Nonfiction. In addition, Adrian served as a White House Advisor to U.S. President Bill Clinton.

On January 22, through a program sponsored by U.S. Embassy Oslo, Adrian Miller took over Restaurant Smalhans, an iconic restaurant in central Oslo; it was a night of Nordic Soul. Famed Norwegian chefs Anders Braathen and Tom Victor Gausdal collaborated with Adrian to create a special menu inspired by American traditions. Adrian also introduced the guests to the story behind soul food and barbeque. He explained to them how African American cuisine is an integral part of the U.S. culinary tradition and told how familiar and unknown dishes from American food culture came to the table.

The following day, Adrian traveled to one of the most northern cities in the world, Tromso. Here he lectured at the University of Tromso on “Soul Food – How history Shaped African American Food, and How African American Food Shaped History.” He discussed the influence African-American cooking has had on American culture, starting with the history of how barbecue emerged from the fusion of Native American, European, and West African meat-cooking techniques.  The event was moderated by famed Norwegian food writer Andreas Delsett. That night, Adrian did a “Restaurant Takeover” at one of the most noted restaurants above the Artic Circle, Hildr.

The final event of the program was held in Oslo at Litteraturhuset on Tuesday, January 24.  Adrian lectured on “Soul Food: The Food That Shaped American Culture.”

HDI would like to thank the Public Affairs Sections of U.S. Embassy Oslo for sponsoring this American culinary diplomacy program and for its invaluable assistance.