The Great Soul Food Cook-Off is coming to Discovery+ in November and a trailer has been released for the upcoming cooking competition. Kardea Brown will host the show, and Eric Adjepong and Melba Wilson are judging the eight contestants as they battle it out.
“Discovery+ and OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network announced today The Great Soul Food Cook-Off, a first-of-its-kind soul food cooking competition series celebrating Black chefs and the Black culinary traditions that are the cornerstone of American cuisine. The six-episode, one-hour series debuts on discovery+ on Saturday, November 20th, with new episodes every Saturday through December 18th.
Today, we see Black culture recognized like never before in music, film, fashion, TV, sports, and more, but that same cultural recognition remains long overdue in the kitchen. OWN has partnered with discovery+ via the original series, The Great Soul Food Cook-Off, in a cooking competition that finally spotlights the culinary contributions of Black chefs with challenges designed to highlight the past and present of soul food. Eight chefs will go head-to-head throughout the show in this high-stakes, spiritual, and emotional competition, but only one competitor can take home the grand prize of $50,000.
“Soul food originated in the earliest African American communities and describes a style of cuisine that represents the creativity and skill of Black cooks from many cultures within the African diaspora,” said Tina Perry, president, OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network. “Our audience cherishes time together as a family around the table and many have passed down favorite family recipes for generations. This series is a celebration of long-standing traditions we hope to introduce and spotlight for new and existing viewers as we shine a light on a few of today’s most talented Black chefs and culinary curators.”
The Great Soul Food Cook-Off is hosted by acclaimed chef and television show host Kardea Brown. Brown will be joined by some of the world’s best chefs, Eric Adjepong and Melba Wilson as they critique the chefs’ weekly creations.
Additional judges that will join Adjepong and Wilson include:
Tanya Holland – (Episode 1)
Alexander Smalls – (Episode 2 & 6)
BJ Dennis – (Episode 3)
Tiffany Derry – (Episode 4)
Millie Peartree – (Episode 5)
Kwame Onwuachi – (Episode 6)
The Great Soul Food Cook-Off contestants are:
Chris Scott, 53 (Chef/Owner, Butterfunk Biscuit Co. – Harlem, NY)
Dorian Hunter, 47 (Chef/Caterer, Elevated Soul – Atlanta, GA)
Fred Fluellen, 32 (Private Chef/Caterer, Fluniversity – Atlanta, GA)
Jamarius Banks, 28 (Private Chef – Atlanta, GA)
Jermaine Smith, 48 (Chef/Owner, Henry’s Soul Cafe – Washington, D.C.)
Razia Sabour, 40 (Private Chef/Caterer, Fuller Foods – Atlanta, GA)
Shacafrica Simmons, 47 (Private Chef/Caterer, Southern Fusion – Tallahassee, FL)
Tirzah Love, 38 (Private Chef/Caterer – Oakland, CA)
The competition premieres with a Soul Starter Challenge paying homage to the foundational “meat and three,” a meal featuring a portion of meat and three sides that are African American community must-haves. In this first challenge, The Great Soul Food Cook-Off chefs form teams and are challenged to a Meat N’ Three Knockout, preparing smothered pork chops, macaroni and cheese, collard greens, and a potato salad. The winning team then holds an advantage going into the main Cook-Off Challenge, where the chefs create innovative dishes with staple ingredients. So who will dig the deepest and draw inspiration from their ancestors to win, and who is going home?
The Great Soul Food Cook-Off is produced by Good Egg Entertainment, the company behind Food Network’s hit cooking competition series “Chopped.” Michael W. Twitty, the esteemed culinary historian, educator, and James Beard Foundation award-winning author of The Cooking Gene, will serve as culinary historian and consultant for the series. OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network is overseeing production.”
What do you think? Are you excited to check out The Great Soul Food Cook-Off on Discovery+?