Culture Hero

Better Nutrition|March 2020

Culture Hero
With his company A Dozen Cousins, Ibraheem Basir combines Caribbean cooking, soul food, and Latin American flavors in a culturally authentic—and completely natural—way
NEIL ZEVNIK

Disparities in socioeconomic levels express themselves in many ways, from job satisfaction to social interactions to leisure activities. One of the most prominent effects, though, is in the realm of food and diet. Where you live and how much you make have an undeniable and significant impact on what you eat.

As a private chef to the definitely rich and occasionally famous, I have been allowed to observe this first-hand. With money and social status comes the ability to make dietary choices without being limited by cost or even availability, plus easy access to information and leisure time in which to explore it. This allows those blessed with that access to shape and execute a healthy diet.

But for those without the resources and time, achieving a balanced and healthful diet can be a challenge.

Bonding Through Food

Enter Ibraheem Basir. He comes from a large family of 10 kids, and food was the great unifier in his childhood. “I grew up in Brooklyn in a really diverse Black and Latino community,” he explains. “So our kitchen was an interesting blend of Caribbean cooking, Soul Food, and Latin American dishes. Food always played a special role in how we bonded with each other, celebrated holidays, and marked important milestones.”

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March 2020