Who’s hungry? MillerCoors and EBONY.com collaborated on an amazing event held at the beer giant’s headquarters in Chicago. The Soul Food Showdown, tied to our own Hungry for History series, was a true celebration of Black contributions to cuisine featuring standout chefs, Judson Allen of Healthy Infused Cuisine; Donna Todd of Melon Express Catering; Julius Russell of A Tale of Two Chefs; Bonnie Thompson of Classic Cobbler Catering; and Darnell Reed of Luella’s Southern Kitchen. Master Cicerone (only one of 10 in the country) Jason Pratt of MillerCoors paired each of the delicious dishes with an equally amazing beer, ale or hard soda pairing. The crowd was asked to vote for the most satisfying soul food and beverage combo.
A brief program, featuring Johnson Publishing Chief Operating Officer and President of Digital Cheryl Mayberry-McKissack and Vice President and Head of Digital Editorial Kyra Kyles, helped MillerCoors Kelli Watson welcome about 200 hungry foodies into the intimate and swanky space. Kyles, who created the #Hungry for History series, explained the critical importance of tracing our legacy as cooks (dating back to American Slavery and beyond). Donna Battle Pierce, food historian and Hungry for History writer/host, introduced the chefs and shared more details about their offerings before inviting everyone to vote on their favorite dish.
Soul Food Showdown – Photos
Chef Judson Allen walked away with the win after his grilled salmon and kale salad garnered the lion’s share of text-in votes. But we congratulate all the talented cooks who participated in this inaugural event. To make this a party with a purpose, MillerCoors and Johnson Publishing also donated to the Cara program, which provides job training and placement for individuals facing homelessness and poverty. Check out the photo gallery to see how this uplifting and empowering evening played out.
For more from this event and to see some of this soul food showdown in action, check out our video here.