Gullah Geechee cooking sensation Emily Meggett dead at 90

 April 24, 2023

Many were left saddened last week when beloved American cooking star and New York Times best-selling author Emily Meggett passed away at the age of 90.

Charleston, South Carolina's ABC 4 News noted that Meggett rose to national fame last year after writing "Gullah Geechee Home Cooking: Recipes from the Matriarch of Edisto Island."

Gullah Geechee culture has roots in Africa

According to the Library of Congress, Gullah Geechee people are the descendants of enslaved Africans who were brought to the plantations of coastal North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida.

"Many waterways parting the land made travel to the mainland difficult and rare. This separation forced people to blend tribal languages with English and maintain arts, crafts, religious beliefs, folklore, rituals, and food preferences connected to their African roots," it explains.

Meanwhile, Charleston's NBC News 2 noted that Meggett's success as an author came despite never having owned a cookbook of her own.

A statement on Smith-McNeal Funeral Home's website noted that Meggett "joined into Holy Matrimony to Jessie Meggett on July 28, 1951. To this union ten children were born."

Two of Meggett's children died before she did

"She is survived by her children: Christopher Hutchinson (Denise), Mildred Heyward, Elizann Mack, Ronald Bailey (Sylvia), Louise Meggett, Carolyn Goodwin, Lavern Meggett, Elizabeth Jones and Marvette Meggett; brother: Cornelius Thrower; and a host of grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren," it continued.

The statement added that Meggett "was preceded in death by her children: Joann Randall and Emily Meggett; siblings: Bernice Meggett, Mamie Nelson and Marion Fludd."

Meggett's death was quickly met with tributes to her on social media, including from the Twitter account Gastronomic History, which called her the "queen of Gullah Geechee cooking."

Fans liken Meggett to "an angel"

Fans spoke up as well, with one writing that Meggett "was insightful, brilliant, creative, dynamic, beautiful, kind, generous, and an enduring light to every single person who was lucky enough to be in her presence."

"The Heavens have truly gained an Angel!!" another fan wrote, adding, "They'll be eating good in the Upper Room!"

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