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Mashama Bailey + John O. Morisano: Black, White, and The Grey

March 24, 2021 @ 8:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Barrett Bookstore welcomes the dynamic leadership team from the storied Savannah restaurant: The Grey. James Beard Award-winning Chef Mashama Bailey and her business partner John O. Morisano will come together for an intimate virtual conversation about food, entrepreneurship, race, gender, and class. This is a discussion you absolutely *do not* want to miss.


We’re thrilled to partner with the following individuals and businesses to bring you this event: Lorca Coffee Bar, Avellino Family Barbecue, CT Bites, Hey Stamford!, Flour Water Salt Bread, Dorie Greenspan, Sipstirs, Darien Library, NEAT Coffee, Women’s Business Development Council, MamaCollective, Rise Doughnuts, Baywater Properties, PG Properties, and The Corbin District.

About Black, White, and The Grey

A story about the trials and triumphs of a Black chef from Queens, New York, and a White media entrepreneur from Staten Island who built a relationship and a restaurant in the Deep South, hoping to bridge biases and get people talking about race, gender, class, and culture.

“From the first few paragraphs of Mashama Bailey’s prologue, you know that you’re dealing with a writer of uncommon honesty. She and partner John O. Morisano offer us an illuminating exploration of what it takes to build something and understand one another, and in the process remind us that restaurants are about much more than just food—even though every recipe, from the Dirty Rice to the Clams Oreganata to the Country Pasta, is proof that Bailey is one of our country’s brightest chefs. Black, White, and The Grey blew me away.”—David Chang, author of Eat a Peach

“Black, White, and The Grey is the tale of a fortuitous collaboration, a lasting friendship, and an iconic restaurant. In these racially divisive times, this book offers a much-needed commodity . . . hope.”—Jessica B. Harris, author, lecturer, and culinary historian

“Black, White, and The Grey is a story for our hearts, minds, and times. It breaks out of any genre ever associated with restaurants—cookbooks or otherwise—taking us on a journey into the minds and motivations of two unlikely partners, each on a mission to prove something to themselves, the world, and ultimately to each other.”—Danny Meyer, author of Setting the Table

“Black, White, and The Grey speaks volumes to the moment we’re in and is exactly what we need as we look to the future of the restaurant industry. This book is so important as we have our own uncomfortable conversations and demonstrates how we can ultimately transcend and unite.”—Marcus Samuelsson, author of The Rise: Black Cooks and the Soul of American Food

In this dual memoir, Mashama Bailey and John O. Morisano take turns telling how they went from tentative business partners to dear friends while turning a dilapidated formerly segregated Greyhound bus station into The Grey, now one of the most celebrated restaurants in the country. Recounting the trying process of building their restaurant business, they examine their most painful and joyous times, revealing how they came to understand their differences, recognize their biases, and continuously challenge themselves and each other to be better.

Through it all, Bailey and Morisano display the uncommon vulnerability, humor, and humanity that anchor their relationship, showing how two citizens commit to playing their own small part in advancing equality against a backdrop of racism.

About Mashama Bailey and John O. Morisano

Mashama Bailey is executive chef and partner at The Grey and The Grey Market and chairs the board of the Edna Lewis Foundation. She has been the subject of stories in USA Today, the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Conde Nast Traveler, Food & Wine, Ebony, Bon Appetit, Cherry Bombe, Garden & Gun, and Cosmopolitan; has starred in an episode of Chef’s Table; and has won the James Beard Award for Best Chef: Southeast.

John O. Morisano, a lifelong entrepreneur previously focused on media, is the founding and managing partner at The Grey and The Grey Market. Morisano oversaw the painstaking restoration of the dilapidated Greyhound bus station that is home to The Grey and directs the company’s business operations. He has been involved with a number of nonprofits, including helping to shape and expand the mission of the Edna Lewis Foundation.

Bonded by a common viewpoint on what makes for delicious food, John O. Morisano and Chef Mashama Bailey partnered to build The Grey in Historic Downtown Savannah. Occupying a 1938 art deco Greyhound Bus Terminal that they painstakingly restored to its original luster, The Grey offers a food, wine and service experience that is simultaneously familiar and elevated. Bringing her personal take on Port City Southern food to a city of her youth allows Mashama to tap into all of her experiences to create dishes that are deep, layered, and soulful in their flavors. With a penchant for regional produce, seafood and meats, guests will find a melting pot of surprising and comforting tastes in all of Mashama’s cooking with something new revealed in each and every visit. A focus on European wines, Atlantic Trade liquors, and warm, old-world hospitality are the additional elements necessary to provide a complete experience for guests. The Grey continues the building’s long tradition of transporting people to a destination, but that destination is now one of elevated hospitality and intrinsic satisfaction.

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March 24, 2021
8:00 pm - 9:00 pm


Barrett Bookstore