Chef Collaboration

Chef Veronica Hendrix

Chef Veronica Hendrix

Chef Veronica Hendrix

By Jessa Moore

Food has a very unique way of speaking to people. Sometimes it is cultural, sometimes it is comfort. Sometimes it is a link to your past. In any case, it seems to speak to the soul. We all long for our mother’s chicken soup when we are ill, we all cherish our family recipes, handing them down from generation to generation-many times not even written down. Soul food is historically handed down by mouth, and is an African American traditional cuisine having its own moment as historians such as Veronica Hendrix formalize the recipes.

Veronica is a food anthropologist who not only writes down traditional recipes, she creates her own takes. She has co-written a soul food cookbook “Taste of Soul Food”, and has a notable blog called “Collard Greens and Caviar.” She puts spins her knowledge creating a vibrant blend of vegetables and spice, with touches of sweet. Soul Food actually isn’t just the decadent church supper foods, but is very vegetable heavy, since slaves actually had only the freedom of food choice with vegetables. Meat, such as bacon, was only used for seasonings. There were odds and ends to incorporate into a meal, such as cornmeal, but really, vegetables were a main staple. The spices of Africa provided a familiarity to the palate, and as African Americans left the Delta, they brought their food with them.

You can easily find Soul Food references on menus all over, not just down South. Sylvia’s, up in Harlem has become a destination for all races, and the lighter versions of Soul Food are immensely popular. Veronica has made it her mission in life to bring the comfort of home to people who she feeds. Her blog Collard Greens and Caviar is a go to for people who want interesting comfort food. Her recipes are presented with love. She believes everything should be nourishing to both the body and heart.

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