Princess Pamela ruled a small realm, but her powers ranged far and wide. Her speakeasy-style restaurant in Manhattan was for three decades a hip salon, with regulars from Andy Warhol to Diana Ross. Her iconic Southern dishes influenced chefs nationwide, and her cookbook became a bible for a generation who yearned for the home cooking left behind in the Great Migration. One of the earliest books to coin soul food, this touchstone of African-American cuisine fell out of print more than forty years ago.
Pamela’s recipes have the clarity gained from a lifetime of practice—cardinal versions of Fried Chicken and Collard Greens, but also unusual gems like Pork Spoon Bread and Peanut Butter Biscuits—all peppered with sage advice on living and loving. Her book stands out for its joie de vivre and pathos as well as the skill of its techniques and is now available for cooks everywhere to re-create these soul-satisfying dishes at home.
“If you lived in New York on big dreams and no money, Princess Pamela’s was where you wanted to eat. Quirky and clubby (the Princess didn’t let everybody in), her Little Kitchen served cheap cuts—tripe, chitlins’, pig tails—and made them taste like food for angels. You felt lucky to be there.”
—Ruth Reichl, author of My Kitchen Year