In her latest edition of “Shared Stories,” Target’s Chief External Engagement Officer Laysha Ward invites you to pull up a chair as she chats with restaurateur, world-renowned chef and good friend Marcus Samuelsson. They discuss the impact of Black cuisine on America’s food and culture, fighting hunger and supporting restaurants during the pandemic and his latest cookbook “The Rise—Black Cooks and the Soul of American Food.” Listen in above and read on for Laysha’s wish for you and yours this season.

We all know the holidays are going to look different this year. And yet whether it’s with the family you’re born into or the family you make, gathering around a table for a meal—even virtually—brings out traditions and memories that help us stay connected with the people we love.

Because many of us are staying home this year, it feels like the perfect time to talk about new recipes and traditions to spark joy and celebrate the season. And my chats with Marcus—especially this one—mean so much to me because he brings everything back to his love of family and food.

Food is by far the most delicious, enjoyable way we can talk about race and culture,” says Marcus. “We can share it with friends around the dinner table. Those stories of culture and humanity (and incredible recipes, of course) shine in “The Rise—Black Cooks and the Soul of American Food.

Thank you Laysha and Marcus! This is not our traditional private brand story, however, it is a story that is close to my heart. As we plan for our My Private Brand Diversity Summit live online February 24-25, 2021 this is the kind of story we need to tell. Samuelsson’s new cookbook embodies the importance of diversity. Over the last 100 years, American grocery has become a vanilla collection of sameness: cornflakes, white bread, and ranch dressing. Smart retailers will reach out to Samuelsson and the chefs he features in his cookbook. Smart retailers will say, tell me your story, teach me, feed me and embrace the cultural richness and flavors as a chance to innovate and differentiate. Bring their real stories and flavors to America, celebrate them and pay them.