Lindsey Williams Serves Up a New Kind of Soul Food
Inspired by his grandmother, who is a soul food legend, and his struggle with obesity, Lindsey Williams created a new brand of soul food that's not only healthy for the body but nourishes the soul as well.
Where it All Started: In Grandma's Kitchen
Celebrity chef Williams spent his early years in and out of his famous grandmother's Harlem restaurant, Sylvia's. Know as the queen of soul food, Sylvia Woods taught young Lindsey the art of authentic soul food cooking, from rich macaroni and cheese to spicy collard greens and southern-style corn bread. But Lindsey was also overweight, and he kept getting heavier. When he weighed in at 400 pounds, he knew it was time to make a dramatic change. Lindsey lost half his body weight and created a whole new kind of healthy soul food cooking.
Neo Soul Launches a Celebrity Chef
Williams now serves his new brand of health soul food through his successful catering and event planning business, Neo Soul Events and Catering. Best known for his successful new cookbook, Neo Soul: Taking Soul Food to a whole 'Nutha Level, it tells the story of this celebrity chef's personal journey through food addiction and gives readers recipes for traditional soul food with a healthy twist, including Grandma's roasted turkey, okra gumbo, trout stuffed with collard greens, and sweet potato pie.
With Neo Soul, Chef Williams not only revolutionized soul food, he promoted the philosophy that food-lovers don't have to give up their favorite foods, because they can eat those foods in a healthier way. Lindsey Williams has appeared as a celebrity chef on many TV shows including The Oprah Winfrey show, and his story has been featured in People Magazine. He is a student at the Natural Gourmet Institute in New York City.
What's Next on the Menu for Chef Williams?
As his celebrity chef career takes off, Lindsey Williams plans to market his own organic soul food line, with less salt and sugar and all organic ingredients. He eventually hopes to have frozen or ready to cook healthy soul food entrees. "I am proud of my soul food tradition," Lindsey explains, "But I want to give people the best food that I can by offering them alternatives that will help them live healthier lives."