Dante Fried Chicken

New York City

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Soul Food, Common knowledge dictates that this is just the ethnic cuisine traditionally eaten by African- Americans from the South but to Dante Lorenzo Gonzales of Jean’s Cook Up soul food is much more. “I like to cultivate,” he explains. “I like to bring art, music and food all together.” You see for Dante, cooking isn’t just about providing sustenance for the body but an experience for the soul. Every meal he prepares is work of art and an experience to be shared. Dante can wax poetic all day about cooking and how it relates to people and creativity. His eyes light up, he becomes animated and his body language becomes more expressive. You inexplicably start to get really hungry. Then you wonder where he got all this passion. It’s simple; it’s genetic, he got it from his Grandma.

Today Dante carries on his grandmother’s legacy with his own healthier but just as delicious spin on soul food. A former vegan himself Dante goes to great lengths to provide the highest quality food. Free range chickens, tofu alternatives, the freshest vegetables and spices available. “It’s a little debaucherous,” he says. “It’s fried food, but I put a lot of oats and fiber into it I even put wheat germ in there and I don’t cook with meats.” In this health conscious age he’s able to straddle the line between comfort food and health food quite comfortably, “I learned how to cook all my grandmother’s stuff without the bacon the butter and all that stuff the only thing I won’t do healthy is mac and cheese you can’t do healthy mac and cheese!”

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