They’re cooking BBQ by the ton and bringing comfort to thousands of storm weary Texans

Some lack running water. Some don’t have enough food. Many face pricey home repairs to fix broken pipes and water damage.

For those on fixed incomes, or already struggling to make ends meet, these challenges are devastating. But this week in Houston, one group provided its unique brand of support: free, hot BBQ meals.

“It’s comfort food,” said Stan Hays, co-founder of Operation BBQ Relief, a disaster response nonprofit. “It’s a hot meal that makes you feel good…I just think BBQ is built for that.”

Hays, a 2017 CNN Hero and competitive BBQ pitmaster, helped start the group to feed people impacted by the Joplin, Missouri, tornado in 2011. Since then, the organization has deployed to dozens of disasters in 30 states — including Houston after Hurricane Harvey.

But the devastation from last week’s winter storm is different than what the group usually encounters.

How you can help Texas winter storm victims

“You can’t see the death

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Mix in a little sweet into your savory picadillo

The Washington Post Food staff recently answered questions about all things edible and a new food newsletter – Eat Voraciously. Here are edited excerpts from that chat.

Q: The pandemic blues are really getting to me, and as a food lover living alone, I’ve been having trouble feeling excited about cooking. What are some recipes to help break you out of a cooking rut or that make you feel excited/inspired by food again?

A: I’ve been in the same boat. Cooking feels more like work than fun these days. I’m trying to stay inspired by reading about cuisines I don’t know much about and flipping through new-to-me cookbooks. I’m also writing a free newsletter to help us all get out of our cooking ruts. It’s called Eat Voraciously, and in it I share one easy recipe Monday through Friday. It keeps me going, one meal at a time.

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Elijah Milligan: Today’s Obstacles For Black Chefs, From COVID-19 To Soul Food

Elijah Milligan is all about baby steps. After more than 15 years in the restaurant business, the chef is happy to note that the changes he’s been fighting for are finally taking hold across the industry. Much of that is due to what he calls his “baby,” Cooking for the Culture, a culinary network devoted to connecting and helping Black chefs all around the country. The project has made headlines through a series of pop-up dinners helmed by minority cooks — but the effort goes much deeper than that. In this Voices in Food story, the professional chef tells Anna Rahmanan about the struggles he’s had to overcome, how COVID-19 and the Black Lives Matter movement have positively affected the gastronomy world and what dining will likely look like in the near future.

On being one of the few Black chefs on the scene

I’ve been a chef now

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5 Reasons Southerners Should Join the Fun on TikTok

Old Fried on Phone

Old Fried on Phone

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1. Creative Home Cooks

On television shows we see talented chefs cooking in professional spaces, but TikTok is all about the home kitchen. From everyday people showing off their culinary interests for the first time to food editors sharing how they cook in their own kitchens, there’s room for everyone to share what they know and love about Southern food. With videos clocking in under a minute, most even shorter, the recipes I see on TikTok often require few ingredients and simple methods to pull together.

Old Man Steve
At 81-years-old, Stephen Austin has garnered more than one million followers on TikTok with his colorful bucket hats and cheerful updates from his kitchen.

Ivy Odom
If you’re a fan of Hey Y’all, don’t miss Ivy Odom’s weekly TikTok videos on our own channel. From deep-fried deviled eggs to dollar store centerpieces, Ivy tries

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