Comfort and luxury can coexist in all aspects of life. According to food journalist, author, and Food Network finalist Veronica Hendrix, this is how she approaches everything, especially food. She is the force behind the beloved blog Collard Greens and Caviar, a scrumptious digital playground of kitchen product recommendations, expert interviews, and comfort food recipes with simple but luxurious twists. You’ll find flavors for every season, globally inspired dishes, pastry delights, and savory sips that would whet anyone’s appetite and maximize their kitchen prowess. Her podcast, Cooking with Collard Greens and Caviar (94.7 FM The Wave Radio Station), is an ode to the blog with snippets of reimagined fare, historical facts, and pro tips on ingredients and supplies needed to cook fearlessly. “Collard Greens and Caviar is the way we live our lives or want to live our lives. The name is reflective of where I’ve come to be,” she affirms.
The blog resulted from over ten years of writing an opinion column for the Los Angeles Sentinel newspaper entitled Veronica’s View. She wrote on topics ranging from social and political issues to life experiences, all while holding down a day job with the City of Los Angeles. During her tenure at the newspaper, she was approached by the publishers, the Bakewell Family, and the late Brenda Marsh-Mitchell to be the project manager and co-writer of the Taste of Soul Cookbook. Created in honor of the highly popular LA event, Taste of Soul Family Food Festival, the book celebrated the stories of the chefs and people that have participated and helped to shape the culinary culture.
Hendrix acknowledges that sharing these historical narratives, dabbling in food design, and learning about the world of culinary production are the genesis of her current trajectory and mindset. After the book was published in 2013, she decided to strike out on her own, and in 2017 she penned Collard Greens and Caviar Pop up eRecipe Book Volume 1. This ultimately paved the way for the blog’s launch in 2020. “Food is my passion. Writing is my passion. Putting those two things together is what I should be doing in life, and it took all these years to figure it out!”
“Preparing food is a great way to get people together. It’s a great convener. The food that you cook is a demonstration of your love. Food is love.”
Fast forward to 2022, and you’ll find Veronica in a season of reinvention with a foray into culinary school. Seeking to further explore the world of food and spirits, she’s put the blog and podcast on hiatus. It is an experience that has proved to be both amazing and daunting all at once. “There is a lack of women in the food space. In kitchens [of restaurants], most of the executive chefs are males, and women seem to struggle to get the recognition they deserve. Also, as a food writer, there are not many of us. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve lobbied different publications to write for them and have not gotten a lot of love. Women are deciding to start their own platforms… we’re finding new ways to present our content and persona.”
Luckily for us, Hendrix’s philosophy on food is as warm and relatable as her persona exudes. “Preparing food is a great way to get people together. It’s a great convener. The food that you cook is a demonstration of your love. Food is love.” She encourages her followers to take a basic cooking class, spend time with the cooks in their lives, and experiment. “There is a fearlessness in food exploration and preparation right now. People are not afraid to try unique combinations and mashups that are outside their comfort zone.” She maintains that having basic spices, a moderately stocked pantry, and cooking supplies at the ready is key to escaping the anxiety many may feel while in the kitchen. And for the ladies out there who are dating, she asserts that “There is nothing more heartwarming, sentimental, and brave than a woman who decides to cook for a man.”
A pro at adding feathers to her cap, she continues to expand her repertoire as a food coach, recipe and product developer, and food writer. After she graduates from culinary school, she plans to relaunch the blog, podcast, and her line of spice rubs, Bromont Avenue Foods. Her work as a Culinary Engagement Strategist will continue to position her as a celebrated food influencer, product ambassador, judge, and thought leader whose mission is to engage and inspire people to get back in the kitchen and cook for themselves.
Honor yourself with a lovely meal, make it a Collard Greens and Caviar experience, and know that somewhere Hendrix will be dishing out yummy food in one of her favorite dinner bowls and, as always… serving it with love.To find more delectable delights or to read past posts from her blog, visit collardgreensandcaviar.com.