Charla L. Draper
Title: Food Consultant, owner of It’s Food Biz! ™. It’s Food Biz! ™ provides marketing services promoting food and food related products. Location: Chicago, IL
1. What’s your food vision for (African America) in 2015? What do our priorities need to be?
We need to continue to share the stories of our culture and history to ensure that our history is not altered and that the youth and future generations will have an understanding of the challenges that were faced by so many of the people whose shoulders we stand on. This is one of the reasons I created National Soul Food month more than ten years ago.
From a food perspective we must continue to keep soul food on the table sharing the history, recipes, and preparation of the foods of peoples from the African diaspora. In addition to keeping the legacy foods of our heritage on the table we must be open to learning and adapting preparation to better-for-you cooking techniques. We can’t ignore the health component. In passing along the foods of our heritage we are teaching how to create food that has the traditional flavor profiles and health benefits.
2. What inspires your culinary creativity?
I’m inspired by exposure to other cultures and culinary traditions, food history, travel and family anecdotes. I love getting into the kitchen and creating good things to eat that blend what I’ve learned from all of these experiences.
3. What’s your best dish or drink or meal?
I enjoy making a lot of different things, but my family votes overwhelmingly for gumbo and my grandmother’s yeast rolls.
4. What’s your favorite edible treat?
Just about anything chocolate.
5. What should we be on the lookout from you for in 2015?
I am looking forward to sharing food stories and continuing to influence novice and experienced folks to COOK and celebrate this element of our culture.
6. How can we follow you, stay in touch and support you?
I blog at ChowChow & Soul™ http://chowchowandsoul.com; I’m on Facebook, TWITTER: @charlaldraper, Instagram (Charla L. Draper) and LinkedIn.