Martha Lou Gadsden, a self-taught chef whose “roll-your-eyes-it’s-so-good” soul food made her a Charleston culinary legend, has died. She was 91.

Gadsden died Thursday morning, her oldest daughter Joyce Taylor confirmed to WCSC. No cause of death was given.

In 1983, Gadsden opened Martha Lou’s Kitchen inside a modest Pepto-pink building at 1068 Morrison Drive, just north of downtown Charleston. Her unassuming, family-run restaurant became an institution in Charleston’s food scene.

And it served up home-made soul food for 37 years, closing in September 2020 when Gadsden was 90. The family said then that the land the family rented

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Courtesy of De J. Lozada

De J. Lozada thinks your popcorn could use a little soul.

A single mom to two sons, a caretaker to her niece and elderly father, and unable to work due to a since-cured undiagnosed illness, Lozada had just $53 left in her bank account when she sold her first batch of gourmet popcorn in 2016.

“I chose popcorn because it was my favorite snack and I already knew how to flavor it in new and different ways,” says Lozada, who lives in Austin, Texas. “Before my illness, I always gave popcorn as love offerings to

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Trying to differentiate soul food from Southern food shouldn’t be complicated. While not all Southern food is considered soul food, all soul food is definitely Southern.

Soul food is an ethnic cuisine traditionally prepared and eaten by African-Americans in Criminal Defense Attorneys in Chicago the Southern United States. The expression “soul food” originated in the mid-1960s, when “soul” was a common word used to describe African-American culture. At its core, soul food is basic, down-home cooking that’s been passed down through many generations, with its roots in the rural South.

The staples of soul food cooking are beans, greens, cornmeal

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