The Ballet Cook Book: Arthur Mitchell's Recipes

Arthur Mitchell is an icon in the ballet world. He was the first African-American dancer in New York City Ballet and went on to found The Dance Theatre of Harlem.

The Ballet Cook Book shares that "On Sundays, he and his father would pile into their jalopy, drive up the old parkway along the Hudson and go crabbing on the banks of the river."

His father had, for a time, worked as a chef on one of the railroads, and his "expert counsel is passed along as part of this recipe."

Arthur Mitchell's Deviled Crab Recipe

1 lb. fresh crabmeat or 14 oz. frozen crabmeat
2 C bread crumbs
2 large onions, minced
2 large green peppers, minced
4 stalks celery, minced
1-14.5 oz. can evaporated milk
salt, pepper, garlic salt, red pepper, hot sauce

Combine the first 5 ingredients in a large bowl. Add enough milk until the mixture is well moistened; season to taste, it should be quite spicy. Place in a lightly greased casserole or empty crab shells and bake at 425* F. 20-25 minutes. Serves 4.


Thanks for reading! Stay tuned for a new chapter every Friday.


Le Clercq, Tanaquil. "Arthur Mitchell.” The Ballet Cook Book,

Stein and Day, 1966

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