About Soul Food Sessions

We make far more than food.
We make a difference.

Soul Food Sessions is a nonprofit founded in Charlotte, N.C., in 2017 to raise awareness and enhance opportunities for black chefs.

Our pop-up dinners showcase diverse culinary talents and bring people together to talk about how to create more equal opportunity in the food industry.

Meet the Chefs

founder

Jamie Barnes

After graduating from Johnson & Wales University, Chef Jamie Barnes worked in Charlotte, N.C., as a sous chef at ARPA before moving to Ilios Noche and then relocating to Northern Virginia to run the local family restaurant, Foxfire Grill. He ultimately returned to Charlotte, working at Holiday Retirement as well as Ballantyne Country Club. After losing a bid for a slot as one of the Final 7 on Food Network’s “Food Truck Race,” he chose to keep the dream alive and purchased his own truck with a french fry theme. What The Fries CLT began with best friend Greg Williams, and continues to be a local favorite, inspiring a brick and mortar restaurant to open in the near future.

founder

Michael Bowling

Chef Michael Bowling is a co-founder, co-creator and co-conspirator of Soul Food Sessions, a series of themed dinners that showcase the talent and distinct foodways interests of black chefs. The veteran chef hails from Roanoke, Va., and has used his culinary gifts at the prestigious James Beard House in New York City as well as for elite restaurants throughout the South. Michael lives and works in Charlotte, N.C., and, being a kidney transplant survivor, uses his platform to advocate for good health and self-care.

founders

Subrina & Gregory Collier

Memphis natives Subrina and her husband, Chef Gregory Collier, contribute one more piece of the Soul Food Sessions puzzle by introducing culinary sensibilities that are wholly Southern though a reflection of their Tennessee foodways roots. The Colliers own The Yolk, a breakfast café in the Charlotte, N.C., area, where they reside and serve the community through various volunteer activities. Proponents of locally sourced food, they work to ensure urban and rural farmers are supported in their efforts to make a living and provide quality products.

founder

Greg Williams

After attending Johnson & Wales University, Chef Greg Williams started out washing dishes in a bar. But his dream was to cook. So, he learned flattop, grill and sauté working for various restaurants, sports bars, casual dining and fine dining establishments. Now, after 15 years of cooking, he is one half of What The Fries CLT and enjoys creating meals that make people happy.

founder

Jamie Suddoth

Pastry Chef Jamie Suddoth started making cakes when she was only 10 years old in Linden, N.J. She then followed her culinary passion all the way to Johnson & Wales in Providence, R.I. After graduating and moving to Charlotte, N.C., Jamie has worked and managed in all aspects of the pastry industry. Currently, Jamie owns and operates Jamie’s Cakes & Classes, providing personalized cakes for all occasions as well as in-home private or group classes and parties.

Meet Our Partner

Coca-Cola Consolidated is the local bottler of Coke products in each Soul Food Sessions tour city, and the largest Coca-Cola bottler in the United States. For more than 115 years, the organization has been deeply committed to the consumers, retail customers and communities it serves and passionate about the broad portfolio of beverages and services it offers.

Your seat is waiting

The table is set for lasting change in the culinary industry, but we can’t do it alone. Claim your seat at the table by signing our pledge and finding out how you can start making a difference today.

Sign the pledge