Soul Food Sessions crew at the James Beard House in New York City. Photo: Alicia Barnes

It’s not every day that chefs get the coveted invitation to cook at New York City’s James Beard House. But for a group of Charlotte chefs and a mixologist, their time to shine came during the House’s regional spotlight dinner on Sept. 13.

Charlotte’s popular Soul Food Sessions collective made its first James Beard House appearance, bringing its signature cuisine that marries your grandma’s kitchen with high-concept dining. Their menu was appropriately titled, “The South Got Something to Say.”

“It felt like we finally proved the point,” said Soul Food Sessions co-founder Greg Collier, who also co-owns Uptown Yolk and the upcoming Leah & Louise restaurant. “We are among the country’s best chefs because of — not in spite of — our heritage and culture. We are the South!”

Along with Collier, the Soul Food Sessions chef lineup included Michael Bowling of Hot Box Next Level Kitchen; pastry expert Jamie Turner of Jamie’s Cakes and Classes and Earl’s Grocery; and What the Fries food truck proprietors Jamie Barnes and Greg Williams. Bravo’s “Top Chef” alum Chris Scott and Omar Tate of Honeysuckle dinner pop-up series also joined the kitchen.

Throughout the evening, guests sipped on three cocktails created by mixologist Justin Hazelton.

Katrina covers Charlotte's Black business scene for QCity Metro. She's a Miami transplant, pescatarian and lover of the arts. She earned a public relations degree from the University of Florida. Got a...