Triple C’s from Ghetto Gastro by Jon Gray, Pierre Sarrao and Lester Walker

Our cooking ethos is guided by a few important principles: It’s gotta be right and to the bite. Done with finesse, but make it look effortless. Our food is delicious and beautiful. Intentional and subversive. And always with that swag, as in the Triple Cs.

Triple Cs is quintessential Ghetto Gastro, so it deserves to stand on its own. It features seared cornbread, crab salad, and caviar.


 Native Americans, Africans, and ancient Mesoamericans made cornmeal and its many iterations a core food. We can look to johnnycakes, corn pone, spoon bread, and cornbread as the expression of Indigenous and enslaved peoples. Somehow, the cultures that put in the work and sacrifice, ultimately building global economies, are the ones that get exploited. Native American, Black, and brown communities are among the most food insecure in the United States. Even still, our innumerable contributions are the foundation of global wealth.

 Crab salad

 When our political representatives take actions that divest resources from our communities, we’re told it’s like crabs in a barrel. The metaphor suggests that if we’re all going down, no one can get out. But that analogy is insufficient because crabs belong in and around water. And maybe the crab isn’t trying to block the other one’s freedom. Maybe they’re all trying to link up and help each other get out.


 Caviar—black gold—is thought of as the pinnacle of European luxury. But caviar originates in the Middle East and Asia, an example of how incomplete histories can alter our view about who gets to enjoy what.

Triple C's from Ghetto Gastro

 Serves 12


  • 14 ounces (3½ sticks/400 g) unsalted butter, 
plus more for greasing
  • 2 cups (240 g) tipo “00” flour or all-­purpose flour, 
plus more for dusting
  • 5 ½ cups (900 g) frozen corn kernels
  • 1 cup (250 g) unsweetened oat milk
  • 3 large (150 g) eggs
  • 1 cup (160 g) cornmeal
  • 1 cup (200 g) organic cane sugar
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 ⅛ teaspoons (5 g) baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon (3 g) baking soda
  • 1 pound (455 g) peekytoe crabmeat, cleaned
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
  • 3 tablespoons crème fraîche
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 9 ounces (255 g) beluga caviar or osetra caviar
(the amount is your preference)


  1. Step 1

    Make the cornbread: Heat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Grease two 9 x 5 inch (23 x 13 cm) loaf pans with butter and dust them with flour, tapping out any excess.

    Step 2

    In a heavy-­bottomed pot, melt the butter over high heat. Add the frozen corn and cook until golden brown, about 15 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a blender, add the oat milk, and blend on high until smooth. Add the eggs and blend again until smooth. Set aside.

    Step 3

    In a large bowl, stir together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.

    Step 4

    Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Mix well. Pour the batter into the prepared pans.

    Step 5

    Bake for 40 minutes, until the cornbread turns golden and the top begins to crack. Remove from the oven. Set the pans on trivets or a wire rack and let cool completely.

    Step 6

    When the cornbread has cooled, heat a large skillet over medium-­high heat.

    Step 7

    Turn the loaves out of the pans and set them right-­side up on a cutting board or flat surface. Using a serrated knife, cut the loaves into equal slices about ½ inch (1 cm) thick.

    Step 8

    Working in batches, place the cornbread slices into the heated dry skillet, leaving space between the slices. Sear each slice until golden brown on both sides, 1 to 2 minutes per side. As they finish, set aside on a rack.

    Step 9

    Make the crab salad: In a large bowl, combine the crabmeat, chives, crème fraîche, and lemon zest. Stir gently to combine. Use immediately, or cover and chill for up to 2 days.

    Step 10

    To plate your Triple Cs, divide the crab salad evenly among the cornbread slices and spread it evenly over the surface. Top each slice with a dollop of caviar and enjoy it.

Excerpted from Ghetto Gastro Presents Black Power Kitchen by By Jon Gray, Pierre Serrao, Lester Walker With Osayi Endolyn (Artisan Books). Copyright © 2022. Food photographs by Joshua Woods.

Jon GrayWriter

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