Their work has not gone unrewarded. Soul food just keeps getting hotter, and not just because of the additional dashes of pepper vinegar or Tabasco sauce that are so often applied to it (although those are always welcome). The traditionally southern style of cooking, and its African-American roots, are enjoying a sustained popularity boom, thanks in part to soul food chefs who elevate the food into a higher class of culinary art.
Atlanta has always been a city with deep soul food history, but its landscape has changed of late with a revival of the cuisine’s true nature and a forward-thinking outlook towards its future -- both thanks to a few key players. Some, like Busy Bee Cafe owner Tracy Gates, have veteran-status after spending three decades in the city’s restaurant business. Others, like Bryan Furman of B’s Cracklin’ BBQ, have arrived more recently but made a big, saucy splash on the city’s dining scene. As it is, soul food is becoming increasingly freed from any singular definition.