cover image Soul: A Chef’s Culinary Evolution in 150 Recipes

Soul: A Chef’s Culinary Evolution in 150 Recipes

Todd Richards. Oxmoor House, $35 (368p) ISBN 978-0-8487-5441-9

Richards, a James Beard–nominated chef, brings the soul food spirit from his Richard’s Southern Fried restaurant in Atlanta to this sensational debut cookbook. Richards explores the history of ingredients, and breathes new life into classic Southern fare. In a chapter on collard greens, for example, he corrects the common misconception that the green “came to the New World with the African slave trade.” He incorporates collards into ramen, and the popular chicken and waffles become collard-laced waffles with smoky trout and maple hot sauce. Onions, the “backbone of Soul Cuisine,” are stuffed with spicy sausage and wild rice, and sweet potatoes join curried cauliflower and crab in a rich gratin. Lovers of Southern cuisine will find grits, corn, shrimp, and peaches showcased, but in unexpected, delightful ways (grilled peach toast with pimiento cheese; and peach salsa, chicken liver pâté on zucchini bread). Richards’s “no limits” philosophy pushes the cuisine beyond traditional expectations and celebrates the power of soul food. (May)