[Note: This post, prepared originally for the NC Folklife Institute's NCFood blog, is hosted on the institute’s website, with excerpts and a link to the website posted here.]
Food is more than simply sustenance. Kitchens are more than places to prepare and eat meals. No place is better for demonstrating the value in society of food and kitchens than The King’s Kitchen in Charlotte, NC. As its customers enjoy the menu of the day, the unemployed, underemployed, difficult to employ, and recently released prison inmates learn culinary and food service skills.
|Chef-in-training Horace Pressley spreads|
a big smile when someone raves about
his mac and cheese.
Customers enter because the food is excellent and the service is top-notch. The Southern meat and three sides (with bread) seems the most popular order. The entrees of braised pot roast, fried or baked chicken, fried catfish, and grilled meatloaf rival any superior Southern restaurant. Customers may also be satisfied because the restaurant has a huge heart and social conscience. When I ate recently at The King’s Kitchen, the food was so good and the service so professional, I couldn’t image that the staff could include someone once homeless, a former drug addict, or convicted felon.