A New Look at Soul Classics


SOUL: A Chef’s Culinary Evolution in 150 Recipes
By Todd Richards
(Oxmoor House, May 2018)

Soul, a terrific new cookbook by self-taught James Beard Award–nominated Chef Todd Richards, is great inspiration for making use of the colorful abundance of late summer and early fall produce in markets right now. Richards’ mantra is that chefs can honor the soul food tradition while still exploring, experimenting, and seeking inspiration from global cuisines. And that’s exactly what he does with more than 150 recipes for creative renditions of soul food. Dishes like Blueberry-Sweet Tea-Brined Chicken Thighs, Grilled Peach Toast with Pimiento, Pork Jowl with Brussels Sprouts Slaw, and Collard Green Ramen (a classic pot of Collard Greens with Ham Hocks together with a new interpretation that builds on the classic) all draw on a mix of cultural influences to create modern takes. Chapters are organized by 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 evolves through Richard’s reinterpretations and updates exploring flavor combinations and cooking techniques.

Edible East Bay’s book editor Kristina Sepetys is eager to share her ideas and book recommendations with
our readers. 

Selection of stone fruit at Monterey Market in Berkeley. Courtesy of Elisse Gabriel.