In Soul Food — really a love letter to African American cooks — I create a representative soul food meal, and I write a separate chapter on each part of the meal. So, there are chapters on fried chicken, greens, black-eyed peas, etc. In an informative and entertaining way, I discuss the history of each food item and answer the following questions:
- What is the food item?
- How did it get on the soul food plate?
- What does the food item mean for African American culture?
Most chapters have three recipes: a traditional, a health conscious and a contemporary version of how to prepare a particular dish. After reading my book, anyone should be able to prepare a soul food meal and understand its cultural context.
- 2014 James Beard Foundation Book Award for Reference and Scholarship winner.
- Black Caucus of the American Library Association 2013 Honor Book for Nonfiction
- Top 10 Food Books of 2013, Booklist
- Ten Best Black Books of 2013 (Non-fiction), nationally-syndicated writer Kam Williams
- Notable Mention in the “Memoirs, Histories, Other,” Eater.com’s Summer 2013 Cookbook Preview
Hollering Praise for Soul Food:
In Soul Food: The Surprising Story of an American Cuisine, One Plate at a Time, Adrian Miller presents readers with a tasty treatise that masterfully captures the history and culture of African American food: the labors of those who prepare it, the dignity of those who serve it, and the joy of those who eat it.”
— Jessica B. Harris Ph.D. author of High on The Hog: A Culinary Journey from Africa to America
In his thought-provoking and persuasive book, Adrian Miller mounts a spirited defense of the diet that African Americans have identified with for generations. He makes a convincing case that the essentials of a make-do diet in hard times–field peas, yams, greens–deserve an honored place among the universal comfort foods that contemporary Americans eat for enjoyment and good health.”
— John Egerton, author of Southern Food: At Home, on the Road, in History
A thrilling celebration and thoughtful commentary. Miller’s informative and delightful book offers us a ticket to explore both the history of soul food and its relationship to the greater African American experience.”
— Ronni Lundy, author of Shuck Beans, Stack Cakes and Honest Fried Chicken: The Heart and Soul of Southern Country Kitchens
An engaging, tradition-rich look at an often overlooked American cuisine–certainly to be of interest to foodies from all walks of life.”
— Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
A lively and thorough account for fans of food literature and of African American history…Highly recommended.”
— Library Journal (July 1, 2013)
Miller’s book is a mouth-watering tome — 22 recipes! — that not only titillates the palate, but feeds the brain with science, geography and history.”
— Patricia Calhoun, “Café Society” column, Westword, Aug. 15, 2013
[a] must read for foodies.”
— Tennessee Libraries, Spring 2014
I devoured . . . Soul Food. [Miller] made me realize that I knew so little about why it was called soul food, and why it even got that name. It was a terrific read.”
— Nick Kindelsperger, Food & Dining Reporter, Chicago Tribune, May 24, 2019