Soul Food: The Surprising Story of an American Cuisine, One Plate at a Time

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Author Adrian Miller is a culinary historian and a certified barbecue judge who has lectured around the country on such topics as: Black Chefs in the White House, chicken and waffles, hot sauce, kosher soul food, red drinks, soda pop, and soul food. Adrian’s book, Soul Food: The Surprising Story of an American Cuisine, One Plate at a Time is the winner of the 2014 James Beard Foundation Book Award for Reference and Scholarship, and an Honor Book for Nonfiction from the Black Caucus of the American Library Association. In this insightful and eclectic history, Adrian Miller delves into the influences, ingredients, and innovations that make up the soul food tradition. Focusing each chapter on the culinary and social history of one dish, such as fried chicken, chitlins, yams, greens, and “red drinks”. Miller uncovers how it got on the soul food plate and what it means for African-American culture and identity. Miller argues that the story is more complex and surprising than commonly thought. Four centuries in the making, and fusing European, Native American, and West African cuisines, soul food, in all its fried, pork-infused, and sugary glory, is but one aspect of African-American culinary heritage. This refreshing look at one of America’s most celebrated, mythologized, and maligned cuisines is enriched by spirited sidebars, photographs, and twenty-two recipes.

  • 2014 James Beard Foundation Book Award for Reference and Scholarship winner.
  • Black Caucus of the American Library Association 2013 Honor Book for Nonfiction
  • Top 10 Food Books of 2013, Booklist
  • Ten Best Black Books of 2013 (Non-fiction), nationally syndicated writer Kam Williams
  • Notable Mention in the “Memoirs, Histories, Other,” Eater.com’s Summer 2013 Cookbook PreviewJames-Beard-Awards




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