James Beard Award-nominated Chef Todd Richards shares his personal culinary exploration of soul food.
Black American chefs and cooks are often typecast as the experts of only one cuisine—soul food, but Todd Richards’ food is anything but stereotypical. Taste his Hot-Chicken-Style Country-Fried Lamb Steak or Blueberry-Sweet Tea-Brined Chicken Thighs as evidence. While his dishes are rooted in family and the American cuisine known as soul food, he doesn’t let his heritage restrain him. The message of Soul is that cooks can honor tradition yet be liberated to explore. Todd Richards celebrates the restorative wonders of a classic pot of Collard Greens with Ham Hocks, yet doesn’t shy away from building upon that foundational recipe with his Collard Green Ramen, a reinterpretation that incorporates far-flung flavors of cultural influences and exemplifies culinary evolution. Page after page, in more than 150 recipes and stunning photos, Todd shares his creativity and passion to highlight what soul food can be for a new generation of cooks. Whether you’re new to Southern and soul food or call the South your home, Soul will encourage you to not only step outside of the box, but to boldly walk away from it.
The chapters in Soul are organized by featured ingredients: Collards, Onions, Berries, Lamb, Seafood, Corn, Tomatoes, Melons, Stone Fruit, Eggs and Poultry, Pork and Beef, Beans and Rice, and Roots. Each one begins with a traditional recipe and progresses alongside Richards’ exploration of flavor combinations and techniques.
***I reviewed a digital copy of this that Time Inc books and NetGalley graciously provided to me. All thoughts and opinions are my own.***
I love to cook and I really love to eat and so I am always on the lookout for new and exciting food ideas. This book was filled with so many beautiful pictures that my mouth was watering. The recipes are a combination of a "traditional" take on southern soul food and then Chef Richards spins your head with all the new ways to make them. I never, ever, ever would have considered using collard greens in ramen or on a sandwich. This is just one small example of how amazing this book was. I also loved that the recipes were not over complicated and rarely required ingredients I couldn't find locally. This is a solid 4 stars for me ( because I wish there had been even more lol).