Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Soul Food

Chef Carla Hall
From Southern Living:
Whether you love the study of soul food and how it relates to Southern food or just appreciate delicious recipes that can be made for a busy weeknight meal, Carla Hall’s Soul Food – Everyday and Celebration deserves a spot on your kitchen counter. What’s the difference between Southern food and soul food? “Black cooks,” says Carla Hall. “And I’m one of them.” After years of cooking for the television public (Hall was a contestant on Top Chef and is currently a co-host on The Chew), she felt it was time to really explore the roots of soul food, the food she grew up eating as a girl in Nashville. On a road trip across the South, she visited with African-American chefs, farmers, cooks, and others who share her passion for celebrating their heritage and distinctive foodways. These experiences, and the recipes inspired by them, formed her latest cookbook, Carla Hall’s Soul Food. (Read more.)

From Salon:
Hall describes “Soul Food” as a cookbook with a mission to reclaim black American cuisine from the stereotype of delicious but rich and caloric (verging on deadly) celebration food like fried chicken, mac and cheese and smothered pork chops. That’s in there, of course, but the headliners appear alongside recipes for dishes prepared with the fruits, grains, vegetables and legumes that make soul food a legitimate living cuisine. In this book, unlike many efforts by other authors that have come before, Hall uses the stories of people she has met who share her zeal as a way to trace the path that soul food took as it morphed in order to reclaim the complete narrative of African American foodways. “I think that when you think about it, and not to romanticize slavery, but when you are in a place and you are static, you can have gardens, you're eating this food, you're living off the land and the sea,” Hall explains. “Then when you start to move and you're leaving the plantation and going north for the first great migration, now you're transient and you don't have a garden. I think that's when food started to change and there was more fried foods and there was more foods that were thought to be unhealthy but there were also slaves who were trained chefs.” (Read more.)

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