A Celebration of Good. Black. Food. | Food Feature | Indy Week
Pin It

A Celebration of Good. Black. Food. 

Swelling with new restaurants, our cities are bursting with a variety of flavor. Even so, the ownership demographics are skewed.

"There seems to be such a gap in equity and who is getting all the business in the way downtown Durham is changing," says Erika Smith.

Erika and her sister, Courtney, started Piri (www.piridurham.com), their new family-owned catering business, to combat this evolution. Piri boasts the tagline, "Good. Black. Food."

Piri has been taking private gigs since last November, but it officially launched last month at Durham's Third Friday.

Born and raised in the South, with some travel abroad, the Smith sisters honor their Morganton-born great-grandmother, Sudie Kincaid, with a menu that serves collard greens, "3 cheese mac," and, soon, an apple-pear sauce that they grew up eating at her table.

"Our idea of Southern is wider because mac and cheese was a treat," says Courtney. "Most of what she cooked wasn't full of fat or sugar. On our menu we do try to incorporate influences that are Southern gourmet, but not laden with pork fat."

The menu includes lunch and dinner portions of meatloaf, coconut chicken with rice, marinated flank steak, seafood specials, and vegan options.

"The exciting thing is reconnecting to the different experiences we have across the African-American diaspora, how we all have similarities on some level," Courtney says of the new venture. "So much of what we connect across this experience is that we share being descendants of enslaved folks. Getting little bits and pieces of inspiration from that and tying it back to my roots here in the South."

Courtney is a baker at Loaf, but she started Piri with her family as a way to get back to cooking over the stove, where her culinary pursuits began years ago.

She stresses seasonal cooking. Erika points out that sourcing local ingredients prioritizes "the farmers who have been here for generations, especially disenfranchised farmers of color."

On Saturday from eleven a.m. to three-thirty p.m., Piri will be serving food on the sidewalk outside of at Exotique on Main Street in Durham. They'll be back at the space above Loaf on November 17 for Third Friday.


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Food Feature

Twitter Activity


A great little family Italian restaurant. Good menu. Quiet setting. Good service. …

by Anthony Dean Morgan on Pulcinella's Italian Restaurant (Durham County)

The Refectory is no longer on the Duke Campus. Their new, permanent location is on Chapel Hill Blvd, and yes …

by Beth Owl's Daughter on The Refectory Cafe (Durham County)

Most Read

Most Recent Comments

@irene_krys We apologize for not catching that. The link is now in the story.


by victoria_foodeditor on A Durham Crowdfunding Campaign Still Needs $50,000 to Pay Down Student Lunch Debt (Food Feature)

Why in the world would you post something like this, with that headline, and NOT give the link for contributions?

by irene_krys on A Durham Crowdfunding Campaign Still Needs $50,000 to Pay Down Student Lunch Debt (Food Feature)

Sad to see the lie repeated that U.S. citizens won't do the work. Yes they will if the employer pays …

by citizenshame on The Immigrants Packing Your Butterball Turkey Are under Threat (Food Feature)

In a state where minimum wage is $7.25 per hour, there is always a waiting list for jobs at Butterball. …

by easternnc on The Immigrants Packing Your Butterball Turkey Are under Threat (Food Feature)

This article is so far out in left field it's not even funny! I know of a couple of those …

by PMozingo on The Immigrants Packing Your Butterball Turkey Are under Threat (Food Feature)

© 2017 Indy Week • 320 E. Chapel Hill St., Suite 200, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation