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BOOK CORNER: Explore soul food recipes with Carla Hall’s latest cookbook

“Carla Hall’s Soul Food: Everyday and Celebration” by Carla Hall with Genevieve Ko offers an exciting and refreshing look at soul food’s heritage.

The new cookbook traces soul food’s history from Africa to the Caribbean to the American South. In doing so, Hall shows readers that soul food is more than fried chicken and macaroni and cheese. Some of the recipes she includes are everyday dishes such as black-eyed pea salad with hot sauce vinaigrette and celebration dishes such as grit soufflé.

Out of the three cookbooks that she has written, this is her most personal.

“I turn my focus to soul food, and I explore what it is and what it isn’t to me — a black woman who grew up in Nashville,” Hall said.

“This cookbook follows the road trip that I took with my co-author, Genevieve Ko, and photographer Gabriele Stabile through five southern states and highlights African-American farmers, chefs, restaurateurs, and iconic soul food joints,” Hall said. “‘CH Soul Food’ is about showing that soul food is so much broader than most people realize. … It is also about all of the fresh vegetables that are grown in the South and the grains that are part of the African diaspora…”

“Carla Hall’s Soul Food” is intended for African Americans and for everyone else who would like to make soul food at home.

“I want to share the history of our food and how much breadth there is to the entirety of this cuisine,” Hall said. “I want to remind them that we have so much to be proud of, which is why I am so, unapologetically, happy to talk about this food that I love.”

The book will no doubt broaden readers perspective about soul food. It is also Hall’s hope that “readers will be inspired to look at their own heritage and think about their culture’s food ways.”

In addition to being an author, Hall is a trained chef and television personality. She is also the culinary ambassador for Sweet Home Café at the Smithsonian National Museum for African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C.

“Carla Hall’s Soul Food: Everyday and Celebration” is available for $29.99 in bookstores and on Amazon.