Growing up, I was surrounded by women who knew how to cook from scratch. They grew gardens, preserved fruit, canned vegetables and make biscuits from scratch. Today we are highlighting a few of my favorite soul food and southern cook books from Black Southern Belles who set the standard when it comes to southern cuisines. From Virginia to Louisiana, these chefs are legends of food and their books should be added to any book collection. Explore these soul food cookbooks below and be sure to add these women to your food inspiration boards.
Soul Food Cookbooks We Love by 3 Black Southern Belle Legends of Food
The Taste of Country Cooking: 30th Anniversary Edition
In recipes and reminiscences equally delicious, Edna Lewis celebrates the uniquely American country cooking she grew up with some fifty years ago in a small Virginia Piedmont farming community that had been settled by freed slaves. With menus for the four seasons, she shares the ways her family prepared and enjoyed food, savoring the delights of each special time of year.
Link to Purchase: https://amzn.to/2GxX5uZ
In this James Beard Foundation Cookbook Hall of Fame-inducted cookbook, Miss Lewis (as she was almost universally known) shares the recipes of her childhood, spent in a Virginia farming community founded by her grandfather and his friends after emancipation, as well as those that made her one of the most revered American chefs of all time. Interspersed throughout are personal anecdotes, cooking insights, notes on important Southern ingredients, and personally developed techniques for maximizing flavor.
Link to Purchase: https://amzn.to/2VW251N
This second cookbook from Leah Chase not only comes with her famous recipes, but it also contains her reflections on life, business, family, and friends. Now in paperback, the collection includes menus for special events.
Link to Purchase: https://amzn.to/2Psk8ud
Delectable Creole recipes from both the restaurant menu and personal files. Leah Chase spices her cookbook with stories that reflect her Creole heritage and document the origin of various recipes.
Link to Purchase: https://amzn.to/2KRFNgr
Sallie Ann Robinson
Gullah Home Cooking the Daufuskie Way: Smokin’ Joe Butter Beans, Ol’ ‘Fuskie Fried Crab Rice, Sticky-Bush Blackberry Dumpling, and Other Sea Island Favorites
If there’s one thing we learned coming up on Daufuskie,” remembers Sallie Ann Robinson, “it’s the importance of good, home-cooked food.” In this enchanting book, Robinson presents the delicious, robust dishes of her native Sea Islands and offers readers a taste of the unique, West African-influenced Gullah culture still found there.
Cooking the Gullah Way, Morning, Noon, and Night
Sallie Ann Robinson was born and reared on Daufuskie Island, one of the South Carolina Sea Islands well known for their Gullah culture. Although technology and development were slow in coming to Daufuskie, the island is now changing rapidly. With this book, Robinson highlights some of her favorite memories and delicious recipes from life on Daufuskie, where the islanders traditionally ate what they grew in the soil, caught in the river, and hunted in the woods.29