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“Ziggy Marley and the Family Cookbook” Shares Succulent Recipes from the Marley Family Kitchen

Photo: Mancakes.

As the oldest son of Bob and Rita Marley, Ziggy Marley was raised in a home nurtured by both the traditions of Jamaican and Rastafari culture. Food is one of the key components of life, as well as family, for it is the kitchen that brings generations together to share in nature’s bounty. In celebration of his family’s history and heritage, Marley has gathered 54 recipes to share in Ziggy Marley and the Family Cookbook: Delicious Meals Made with Whole, Organic Ingredients (Akashic Books and Tuffgong Worldwide).

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Marley recalls, “I first started dabbling in the kitchen as a teenager. I enjoyed making cornmeal porridge, and it helped me to begin to appreciate the idea of nourishment, the ideal that food can make your body feel better. I would make Irish moss and some of my dad’s juices. I grew up around great cooks, especially my mother, my great0auntie Viola, and Ms. Collins, a woman who helped us out around the house. But no one taught me how to cook—I just watched and made things up as I went.”

Back row (l-r): Karen Marley (sister), Orly Marley (wife), Ziggy Marley. Front row (l-r): Abraham, Gideon, Judah.

The Rastafari side of his father’s world introduced Ziggy to ital food. The word “ital” derived from the English word “vital” and signifies the belief that all things put into one’s body should increase Livity. Livity is the fundamental concept of righteous, everliving energy or life force that flows through all existence and is conferred by Jah, which can enhanced by prayer, meditation, love, and adherence to the natural Ital diet that the Marleys embrace.

Ital food avoids chemically modified foods, artificial additives, and iodized salt, focusing on the natural and pure foods that come from the earth. The recipes featured in Ziggy Marley and the Family Cookbook embrace this approach, providing an exquisite and delectable menu of succulent food.

Jerk Chicken

Organized around different times of the day rather than traditional meals, Marley approaches eating as food gives us the energy and nourishment to make our way. The book offers a wealth of vegetable and fish dishes, juices and smoothies, as well as breakfast and sweets. What makes Ziggy Marley and the Family Cookbook irresistible is the simplicity of the dishes and the complexity of the flavors.

Consider Coconut Dream Fish, which seasons wild sea bass with mélange of spices including garlic, ginger, thyme, allspice, cayenne, and curry into coconut milk, with onions and peppers to create a harmony between vegetables and fish. The very thought is mouthwatering, but what makes it an exquisite dish is that it is easy to prepare, and it does the trick, as Marley reveals: “Makes you go to bed real nice.” Dreaming of a trip to the islands, no doubt.

Special Event:

On Thursday, November 3, at 7:00pm, Ziggy Marley will be signing books at Barnes & Noble The Grove at Farmers Market, 189 The Grove Drive, Unit K-30, Los Angeles.

All photos © Ryan Robert Miller.

Miss Rosen is a New York-based writer, curator, and brand strategist. There is nothing she adores so much as photography and books. A small part of her wishes she had a proper library, like in the game of Clue. Then she could blaze and write soliloquies to her in and out of print loves.