Adrian Miller is a food writer, attorney and certified barbecue judge who lives in Denver, CO. Adrian received an A.B. in International Relations from Stanford University in 1991, and a J.D. from the Georgetown University Law Center in 1995. He is currently the executive director of the Colorado Council of Churches and, as such, is the first African American and the first layperson to hold that position. Miller previously served as a special assistant to President Bill Clinton with his Initiative for One America—the first free-standing office in the White House to address issues of racial, religious and ethnic reconciliation. Miller also served as a senior policy analyst for Colorado governor Bill Ritter Jr. He has also been a board member of the Southern Foodways Alliance. Miller’s first book, Soul Food: The Surprising Story of an American Cuisine, One Plate at a Time won the James Beard Foundation Award for Scholarship and Reference in 2014. His second book, The President’s Kitchen Cabinet: The Story of the African Americans Who Have Fed Our First Families, From the Washingtons to the Obamas was published on President’s Day, 2017. It was a finalist for a 2018 NAACP Image Award for “Outstanding Literary Work—Non-Fiction,” and the 2018 Colorado Book Award for History
In 2018, Adrian was awarded the Ruth Fertel “Keeper of the Flame Award” by the Southern Foodways Alliance in recognition of his work on African American foodways. In 2019, Adrian received the Judge Henry N. and Helen T. Graven award from Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa, for being “an outstanding layperson whose life is nurtured and guided by a strong sense of Christian calling and who is making a significant contribution to community, church, and our society.” In June 2019, Adrian lectured in the Masters of Gastronomy program at the Università di Scienze Gastronomiche (nicknamed “Slow Food University”) in Pollenzo, Italy. Adrian’s third book, Black Smoke: African Americans and the United States of Barbecue was published in Spring 2021.