Discovery+ and OWN Shine a New Light on Soul Food with ‘The Great Soul Food Cook-Off’
The Oprah Winfrey Network has tapped the producers behind Chopped to create a new food competition show that aims to spotlight traditional African-American cuisine. The Great Soul Food Cook-Off, premiering on OWN and Discover+ on Saturday, November 20, will be a full-on celebration of Black chefs and Black culinary traditions.
Featuring contemporary Southern cook and Food Network star Kardea Brown as the host, the six-episode series will see eight talented chefs go head-to-head to take home the winning title. Alongside Brown, viewers can expect to see Top Chef finalist Eric Adjepong and Melba Wilson — the Harlem-based restaurateur responsible for introducing Prince Harry to chicken and waffles — as recurring judges throughout the series. A rotating cast of food critics and award-winning chefs will also make appearances to offer their guidance on each of the hour-long episodes.
Premiering with what is referred to as a “Soul Starter Challenge,” the first episode of the show will see the eight contestants broken into teams and tasked with presenting the judges with their take on an African-American staple dish: the “meat and three” — a meal that features a portion of meat joined by three sides popular in Black communities. In the episode, the meat will be smothered pork chops with the three accompanying side dishes being collard greens, macaroni and cheese, and potato salad. The team that delivers the best version of the dish will gain an advantage going into the main Cook-Off Challenge, where they’ll create innovative dishes for their chance to take home $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,” OWN president Tina Perry said in a press release. “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 will air on Saturdays from November 20 through December 18 on both Discovery+ and OWN.