By Isaac Hayes
Long before Isaac Hayes became the voice of "Chef' on the popular and irreverent animated television show South Park, he was a food lover. His fondest and most enduring memories are those associated with his boyhood: learning to cook while helping his grandmother prepare traditional Southern soul food in the kitchen of his family's rural Tennessee home. Before he became an Academy Award-winning composer, he was a short-order cook serving up burgers and fries in a Memphis diner. and at one point in a career that has spanned more than four decades, he was a single father cooking for five children and sharing recipes with friends, professional chefs, and family. His commercial successes in music, movies, television, and radio came and went and came again—but there was always the love of food. Now Hayes shares that love in a cookbook and memoir that is as distinctive and eclectic as the man himself.
In Cooking with Heart and Soul, Hayes serves up a mix of traditional home cooking and healthy eating, with a touch of the gourmet—and lots of stories from a life lived to the fullest. with chapters ranging from "Succulent Starters and My Best Breads" to "Jammin' to the Barbecue Beat" and from "Southern Sides and Country Vegetables" to "What's Good for the Heart and Soul: Salads and Pasta", Hayes provides readers with abundant choices from his personal culinary repertoire. Recipes include traditional southern favorites like crab cakes, seafood gumbo, and delta fried catfish; cornbread, hoecakes, and biscuits; baked grits, collard greens, and fried green tomatoes; and chopped BBQ pork, fried chicken, and smoked turkey legs.
The book also contains recipes from Hayes's friends, including dishes from celebrities like Carl Lewis (Jerked Catfish Woven on Cinnamon Kabobs), John Travolta (Hamburger Royale with Cheese), Alfre Woodard (Seafood Gumbo), Debbie Allen and Norm Nixon (Apple-smoked Filet Mignon with Ginger-Snapped String Beans), John Singleton (White Fish with Crabmeat Stuffing),Tito Nieves ("I Like it Like That" Broiled Crab Legs), Steve Harvey (Stuffed Rolled Chicken Breast over Sweet Potato Risotto), Wesley Snipes (Rum-glazed Cornish Hens Stuffed with Apple-Sourdough Stuffing), Lisa Marie Presley (Banana Pudding), and many others.
Isaac Hayes with longtime friend and personal cook, Pearlie Biles, and celebrity chef Wendell Price, make beautiful music together, in and out of the kitchen.
Interspersed among the recipes are Hayes's reminiscences of growing up in the country with his sharecropper grandparents, his family's move to Memphis when he was seven years old, and his first experiences as a singer/musician while still in school. He describes how he came to work at Stax Records, a black-oriented record company in Memphis, his celebrated partnership with David Porter; his participation in civil rights marches and demonstrations in Memphis; and his memories of the late Martin Luther King Jr. (Hayes was scheduled to have dinner with Dr. King the night he was assassinated); his encounter with Elvis Presley; and his participation in Shaft, the film that helped cement his reputation as a superstar. Hayes also describes how he became interested in healthy cooking, his philosophy on healthy living and working out, his interest in alternative medicine, and what it means to eat to live.
Cooking with Heart and Soul is pure Isaac Hayes—one part hot buttered soul, one part chocolate salty balls, and a big helping of comfort. It is also, in Hayes's own words, "a great opportunity to remember how I got where I am today, thanks to the people, the music, and the wonderful food along the way."
Isaac Hayes is a musician, actor, radio host, and television personality. He has won an Academy Award, a Golden Globe, and an NAACP Image Award, among others, and has had several gold and platinum singles and albums. He is currently the voice of "Chef' on South Park and the top-rated DJ on WRKS-FM 98.7, one of the top-rated radio stations in the tri-state area. Honored for his humanitarian efforts in both Africa and the United States, he was the international spokesman for the World Literacy Campaign, in which he remains actively involved.
Cooking with Heart and Soul
By Isaac Hayes
G. P. Putnam's Sons, November 2000
Information provided by the publisher.
This page created April 2001
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