“Everyone has their own interpretation of what soul food is -- and no one is wrong.” Barnes says. “I say if you’re cooking from your heart, your upbringing… anything you cook or eat that makes you instantly remember those times, to me, that would be soul food.”
Chef Kevin Mitchell, a culinary historian and the first black chef to teach at the Culinary Institute of Charleston, will join the chefs when they come to Charleston this year. Southern cooking, and its history, are his expertise. His master's thesis focused on telling the story of enslaved cooks, the recipes they spearheaded, and the history of black chefs in America.
“[Soul Food Sessions] gives people an opportunity to see that black chefs are more than people perceive us,” he says. “We’re more than fried chicken and macaroni & cheese -- even though that is part of who we are.”