So, Paula Deen decides to make lighter Southern food and it gets headlines? It's a campaign year, and I am sick of the mud-slinging, so I will just say this: I think the wrong person has been getting the headlines all this time. When it comes to Southern food, real Southern food that has evolved — as any cuisine should — my vote is for Bryant Terry, including his new book, The Inspired Vegan.
Yes, vegan. And Southern food. Terry's recipes use many of the classic ingredients one associated with good Southern cooking; black-eyed peas, greens, sweet potatoes, grits, johnny cakes, sweet tea, molasses. And, he definitely doesn't use factory-farmed pork or Velveeta, which is not on any seasonal, heritage ingredient list I can fathom, Southern or not. The beauty of Terry's take on Southern ingredients is that he's re-thought them, added his life influences, often Asian, and continues to create. Food, like everything else, must evolve.
Terry's food is healthy. This commitment to good, healthy food is not just in his cooking, he lives it. Terry has worked for food access and food justice as well as nutrition education and empowerment throughout the span of his career. This is not a new brand image he's acquired for marketing purposes.
Vegan or not, and I am not a vegan, his recipes are creative, and, as the title suggests, inspired.