Princess Pamela's Soul Food Cookbook

If a genie were able to grant me one wish, I would ask to have dinner with Anthony Bourdain, Maya Angelou and Jerry Garcia at Little Kitchen in New York. Why is this relevant? Because Princess Pamela, the legendary champion of soul food, is the last of my role models, these people with whom I wished to have engaged in a conservation. She stands among the ranks of these storytellers who have influenced not only my food stories but also my life stories.

Her cookbook, Princess Pamela’s Soul Food Cookbook, does not only impart recipes from the historical South, it also shines a light on her perception of life, food and family. The recipes themselves are next to poems that liken the family-style, comforting food to a creative art form (a statement that Bourdain would disdain, for sure). And yet, the eclectic, sometimes soul-wrenching poems remind me that good cooking is sometimes about the quality of food, but most of the time about the memories, milestones and people around it.

Regardless of the mystery surrounding Princess Pamela, it was a pleasure reading her cookbook because I felt that I got to know her in those pages. Although I am only modernizing a few select recipes, I strongly recommend buying a copy of the book and reading it in its entirety.

Princess Pamela's Soul Food Cookbook cover