Deandre Smith, AKA Chef Cool Dre, on soul meals

DENVER (KDVR) — FOX31 continues its Black Historical past Month sequence, which is specializing in thoughts, physique and soul. Meals appears to be the nourishing nexus of those three necessary elements of Black tradition — soul meals, to be particular.

Chef Deandre Smith, aka Chef Cool Dre, teaches some classes on soul meals from his kitchen in Central Park.

“My grandfather is the one who bought me into the kitchen, my grandparents as a complete,” Smith mentioned. “If he was off work, he was watching me, [and would say], ‘You already know what let’s make some breakfast.’”

He had an alternative choice to bringing homework house: “I might carry recipes house in my pocket book.” However regardless of his obvious dedication to the kitchen, he left the enterprise a few occasions.

“I’ve all the time come again. Cooking all the time dragged me again in,” he mentioned.

He says meals — soul meals, moreso — brings everybody collectively: “Even when it’s a commencement, party, household dinner, funerals, issues like that, the one factor that brings all folks collectively is the meals.”

For therefore lengthy, so many individuals discuss in regards to the darkness, however Black historical past additionally has a fantastic previous.

Many households right now develop their soul meals dishes based mostly on repetition and reminiscence, studying from family members versus writing and recording recipes.

Cornbread is a staple in Black houses. Like many soul meals components, it’s cheap and simply accessible. However one other staple, not featured in Chef Cool Dre’s kitchen? Pork.

“With us utilizing pork as a dish, that’s what slave masters wished, required or requested,” Smith mentioned, explaining the historical past of pork as a soul meals delicacy.

“It was a celebratory factor, so each time the slave masters would ask for a dish, he was asking enslaved Africans to come back by and butcher the entire hog, [so] you bought to some extent the place [slaveowners] would take the meat and go away everybody with the scraps, just like the chitterlings, the tails, the ft,” he mentioned.

“It doesn’t matter what you’re coping with, meals all the time makes issues higher,” Smith mentioned.

Chef Cool Dre has been featured on a number of TV reveals however now, he needs to open up his personal spot domestically the place all folks can get pleasure from and study why soul meals is such a staple in Black and Brown communities.