Black Chefs Grapple Over the Meaning and Evolution of Soul Food

Debra Freeman

Ask someone to define soul food, and they’ll typically answer along the lines of what African-Americans eat, and include examples of popular dishes like collard greens, fried chicken, and baked macaroni and cheese. While these foods are nearly ubiquitous and universally delicious, they don’t fully represent soul food or the cooks who make it. 

Soul food is as complicated as the Black American experience, and chefs, historians, writers, and home cooks are still...