Food Recipe for Revival with Gregory Porter

by the editorial team at Citi | August 30, 2021

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For a version of this video without audio descriptions click here.

“Music and food — two things in life I truly love — have always been connected. The kitchen was actually my home before I ever stepped on stage.”

That’s Gregory Porter, the celebrated jazz musician best known for his rich gospel, blues and soul-inspired vocals. Porter is also well-versed in the culinary arts; early on in his career, Porter worked days as a chef in his brother Lloyd’s restaurant, Bread-Stuy in Brooklyn and spent evenings performing and establishing himself on the New York jazz scene. His distinct talent, along with encouragement from his mother and siblings (he is one of eight children), pushed him to pursue music.

Prior to the pandemic, Porter was on the road 200+ days a year. However, with tour dates paused, he found himself slipping his apron back on and taking the lead on family meals at home in his native California.

“The idea of making food for other people — whether it's something that they're paying you for, or even something that you're doing for family, or feeding people on the streets — there's a joy that comes from working hard to make people feel good, and put a smile on their face,” says Porter.

Nurturing others has been a solace for Porter during the past year-plus of deep loss and civil unrest. “This has been an extraordinarily difficult time. I lost my brother, to the pandemic,” he confides. “He was in that early wave that happened in New York City... He probably got sick delivering groceries to some of the older people at his church — in service of somebody else.”

Despite tragedy and social dislocation, Porter maintains hope with a renewed commitment to community. “We have to lean on each other. We have to trust one another. We have to be here for one another,” Porter reflects.

“If I'm doing well and my neighbor is unwell, it's not okay. Because in a way, this community is strengthened by the strength of all of us…. And so, as we come out of this time, this reset in a way, I hope that we have that spirit of remembering where we were. And the desire to be better, in our revival.”

Watch the video above for more from Gregory Porter. Check out The PorterHouse with Gregory Porter, Presented by Citi | Citi Entertainment®, a video series of Porter sharing his favorite recipes and the stories behind them.