I wrote something about soul food becoming financially fancy a couple years ago, after an experience at a popular “southern” restaurant in the Atlanta area that cost much more than what seemed reasonable. Since that story, much has stayed the same, but there have certainly been changes in Atlanta’s soul food dining scene that can only be seen positively. Chefs who truly know soul food are being recognized for their commitments to the cultural importance of the food, and for finding inventive ways to represent and reimagine the recipes so many Americans know and love.
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.