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 honour 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 flavours 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 organised 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.
About the Author
Todd Richards is a self-taught chef who paid his dues in numerous restaurant kitchens before becoming an executive chef who garnered national attention. He has two James Beard nominations for Best Chef in the Southeast, was an Iron Chef competitor, and was named one of "Four New Chefs to Watch" by Esquire magazine. He is the owner/chef of Richards' Southern Fried at Krog Street Market.
"In Soul, Todd Richards defines soulful cooking and rejects limiting definitions of soul food. Fluent in African-American history and cultural mores, he charts a progressive path forward for the generations of young chefs who will surely follow in his wake. Plus, any book that leads with a collards chapter wins my heart." -- John T. Edge, author of The Potlikker Papers: A Food History of the Modern South
"Atlantans and others who've come to crave Todd Richards' deft remixes of cuisines and traditions will love Soul for recipes like lamb steaks country-fried in the style of Nashville's fabled hot chicken, oysters poached in collard-green pesto, and crispy chitterlings over spicy fried rice. And readers new to Richards' talent will be blown away, not just by his technical and sensual acumen in the kitchen, but by his masterful sermons on the meaning of the elusive, powerful word, 'soul.' " -- Matt and Ted Lee, authors of The Lee Bros. Charleston Kitchen
"Soul is a stunningly beautiful cookbook. Richards takes one of our nation's earliest and most cherished fusion cuisines to a new culinary frontier of endless, creative possibilities." -- Adrian Miller, author of the James Beard Award-winning book, Soul Food: The Surprising Story of an American Cuisine, One Plate at a Time
"My most treasured books make me feel like I'm spending time with that person and getting to know their soul. I've read every word in this book and drooled over the photos. Flipping through Soul made me want to hop in the car and go see Todd just to talk food and catch up. Within these pages is the story of a chef's journey to define his cuisine and the food that fills his heart." -- Sean Brock, author of the James Beard Award-winning book, Heritage
"Aside from being a well-illustrated, well-organized, and well-written cookbook, Soul defines Richards's core philosophies about food, creativity, and society. His heartfelt opinions about race in America and the importance of sharing food at the table as an expression of love and fellowship infuse this book with extra meaning. ... Most of all, Soul distills many years of cooking, improvising, and learning about different ingredients. Richards is a masterful chef who generously doles out his expertise and perspective in this inspiring book." -- Rachel Jagareski, Foreword Reviews
"[A] sensational debut cookbook. Richards's 'no limits' philosophy pushes the cuisine beyond traditional expectations and celebrates the power of soul food." -- Publishers Weekly
"Soul is both a manual and meditation, in chapters moving alphabetically from collards to potatoes, on the forces of history that made him the cook that he is."--Julia Moskin, The New York Times
"Soul is an homage to and reinterpretation of Southern cuisine." -- FOOD & WINE, Staff Favorite Recommendation
"Richards honors the tradition of soul food and also explores new terrain by adding a nice dash of the unexpected, as in his must-try recipe for Chicken Thighs and BBQ Beans. If that's not tempting enough, it's also one of the prettiest cookbooks you'll ever see." -- Sid Evans, SOUTHERN LIVING
"It's soul-satisfying from beginning to end." -- BookPage Top Pick
"This lavishly photographed cookbook with heart-felt prose--marinated in descriptions of Chicago and the South--brims with flavors and fellowship." -- Forbes
"His debut cookbook, Soul, is the epitome of what soul food is today and gives a glimpse of what it will be in the future." -- Aaron Hutcherson, Michelin Guide
"Thumb through Soul for beautiful images, inspired stories (like how Richards went from Chicago to an Atlanta meat counter and then to the Four Seasons Hotel kitchen), plus recipes for perfect Southern hybrids like Grilled Peach Toast with Pimento Cheese." -- Garden & Gun
"Expertly written and beautifully produced, this deserves a spot in most collections." -- Library Journal