A celebration of Black food and the people who make it
Black excellence and innovation have undeniably benefited and inspired American food culture as a whole. But outside of the Black community, the names, faces, and stories behind Black cuisine are rarely acknowledged or given the credit they so deserve. This Black History Month, we’re shining a light on two talented chefs from across the country who are honoring Black food history while writing its future.
“We’re using the plants our families used—doing what [our] grandmothers did.”
Chef, Owner of Sol Sips / Brooklyn, NY
Francesca Chaney's vegan café Sol Sips in Brooklyn focuses on reclaiming wellness from an industry dominated by whiteness. Her menu brims with nourishing plant-based dishes inspired by her family history and generations-old recipes. But her vision doesn't end with food. It's about making the wellness movement more accessible to communities of color.
Keeping community top-of-mind
Francesca keeps her neighborhood of Bushwick well-fed—and more importantly, fed well—with weekly sliding scale-priced brunches, food giveaways, and periodic cooking classes, free of charge.
Inspired by her ancestors
The chef draws inspiration from the resourcefulness of her Garifuna ancestors, who began substituting fish with plant-based ingredients in their traditional hudut dish when they were exiled from coastal lands.
“Soul food is anything that you intake that brings you joy.”
Chef, Owner of Wendy’s House of SOUL / Minneapolis, MN
Wendy Puckett, chef-owner of Wendy’s House of SOUL, Inc., credits her love of family—which she does not define by DNA—community, and a passion for cooking for following her dreams. With menu items like her signature SOULROLL and her beloved caramel cake, Wendy doesn't just feed her community. She lifts them up with honest soul food and leads by example.
Eat your greens
Wendy rolls up Soul food in her SOULROLL: a solution to her sons’ dislike for vegetables. Her first one used broccoli and greens, and was eaten up by her ‘toughest’ critics. Today, it’s her menu’s main attraction, with delicious variations, rolling up lots of different cultures’ cuisines together.
It runs in the family
“My grandmother taught me how to create something out of nothing,” says Wendy, whose love of cooking began at a young age in her grandmother Nanny's kitchen. On her menu, she honors tradition: “The Nanny SOULROLL” is inspired by her grandmother’s staples served on Sundays: greens, fried chicken, and mac and cheese.