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Chef Hanan Shabazz Reminds Asheville Of Its Black Restaurant Roots

Credit Courtesy of Sprouthouse Agency

When Hanan Shabazz was a child in her grandmother’s Asheville home, she remembers their house as the one where those in need of a good meal would come to be freely fed. The experience was formative for her as she grew up and opened Shabazz Restaurant in the early 1970s. The restaurant was part of Asheville's thriving Black business scene in the historic neighborhood known as The Block until urban renewal forced its closure. 

Host Frank Stasio talks to Asheville culinary legend and social justice activist Chef Hanan Shabazz.

However, Chef Hanan has continued feeding others, both inside and outside of restaurants. She was one of the organizers of Kitchen Ready, a nonprofit-funded culinary career-readiness program and most recently helped to re-launch the Southside Community Kitchen, which trains aspiring chefs and feeds seniors and those in need in Asheville. Chef Hanan was this year’s recipient of the annual Ruth Fertel Keeper of the Flame Award, an honor presented by The Southern Foodways Alliance, to celebrate her work as a food activist, cultural historian, and visionary. Host Frank Stasio talks to Chef Hanan about her life and career.

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Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.
Stacia Brown comes to WUNC from Washington, DC, where she was a producer for WAMU’s daily news radio program, 1A. She’s the creator and host of two podcasts, The Rise of Charm City and Hope Chest. Her audio projects have been featured on Scene on Radio, a podcast of the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University; BBC 4’s Short Cuts; and American Public Radio’s Terrible, Thanks for Asking.