Detroit – As we celebrate Black History Month, we must shine a spotlight on the historic ties to soul food and the prominent place it holds in Black culture. And one local chef is redefining those comfort meals to build a better future for the community. Erika Boyd, the Co-Owner and Executive Chef of Detroit Vegan Soul, is making soul food plant-based.
Traditionally, soul food uses a lot of animal meats and fats in the ingredients.
“Things that give us, in the Black community, diabetes, hypertension, and those kinds of diet-related illnesses,” explains Boyd.
So, by making longtime family favorites without those animal products, they offer those familiar flavors in a healthier way.
“It’s all like what you would expect soul food to be,” said Boyd.
They’ve worked hard to get the same flavors and textures as the non-vegan classics. Dishes they have include fried catfish (which is really fried tofu), coleslaw, corn muffins, potato salad, greens, mac and cheese and more. The trick, Boyd says, to getting plant-based meals to taste good, is “putting your heart and soul into it.”
If you want to try out Detroit Vegan Soul for yourself, they have two locations in Detroit, one in the West Village at 8029 Agnes St. and another one in Rosedale Park at 19614 Grand River Avenue.