Innis sees soul food in many forms. “Soul food is ‘More Life,’ in my Jamaican voice,” he jokes, “meaning it nourishes your mind, body, and soul. It reminds me of comfort, family get-togethers and long-lasting memories.” He also says it can be both non-fine dining and fine dining. “Your traditional soul food restaurants usually serve large plates of food, [and] you’re probably going to take a nap afterwards. Fine dining soul food is smaller plates and more refined dishes but the same ingredients, which bring back memories of good times and fulfill your soul after every bite, course after course.”
Thanks to the amazing work of these and other African-American chefs, who remain true to soul food but are unafraid to push it into new territories, we are seeing a change in Atlanta that feels authentic, timely, and important to the greater American culinary story, and we can all experience this in real time, through past and future flavors. It’s a great reminder of where we’ve come, and where we can all go together.