Q & A
Q. Why did you write Beyond Soul Food?
A. I believe traditional soul food is a thing of the past, as a professional chef I believe that I have a responsibility to educate the public on healthy eating and proper cooking technique. Soul food has been associated with a poor diet for too long. I intend on changing that point of view by educating the public on cooking differently.
Q. What do your title and subtitle mean?
A. I first coined it during an interview with San Francisco Examiner in 1993, which began the title of the article, “Beyond Soul Food, Modern American Heritage Cuisine“, which means that we are going beyond the traditional way of cooking by including healthy cooking techniques, introducing new and different ingredients such as edamame, infused flavors from other cultures and bringing back foods that were lost in time such as spoon bread and braised items such as oxtails and short ribs. This is all done with a modern, contemporary presentation for better entertaining and serving. Traditional soul food it’s usually served like a mound of food like peasant food – I want to change that.
Q. Who is your intended audience?
A. Readers who are aware that change is needed and that have the desire to educate themselves about our past and who desire a better diet for healthy living and entertaining.
Q. What are your qualifications to write this book?
A. I’m a classically trained chef – a graduate of the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco. I have 22 years of experience in the food service industry. I’ve worked in some of best kitchens in California, including Wolfgang Puck, Bradley Ogden and the Patina Group. I’ve appeared on local and national television, newspapers and magazines. I have won several awards for my dedication to the food industry which include the President’s Award from the American Culinary Federation’s, California Chef de Cuisine Association.
Q. How does your book benefit the reader?
A. I would like the reader to take away a sense that we can be creative and health conscious about the way we prepare our food within our heritage. We have a long history of fine cuisine in our heritage that has some-how become lost and forgotten. Let’s get some of that heritage back.