This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

DENVER (KDVR) — FOX31 continues its Black History Month series, which is focusing on mind, body and soul. Food seems to be the nourishing nexus of these three important parts of Black culture — soul food, to be specific.

Chef Deandre Smith, aka Chef Cool Dre, teaches some lessons on soul food from his kitchen in Central Park.

“My grandfather is the one who got me into the kitchen, my grandparents as a whole,” Smith said. “If he was off work, he was watching me, [and would say], ‘You know what let’s make some breakfast.'”

He had an alternative to bringing homework home: “I would bring recipes home in my notebook.” But despite his apparent commitment to the kitchen, he left the business a couple of times.

“I’ve always come back. Cooking always dragged me back in,” he said.

He says food — soul food, moreso — brings everyone together: “Even if it’s a graduation, birthday party, family dinner, funerals, things like that, the one thing that brings all people together is the food.”

For so long, so many people talk about the darkness, but Black history also has a beautiful past.

Many families today develop their soul food dishes based on repetition and memory, learning from loved ones as opposed to writing and recording recipes.

Cornbread is a staple in Black homes. Like many soul food ingredients, it’s inexpensive and easily accessible. But another staple, not featured in Chef Cool Dre’s kitchen? Pork.

“With us using pork as a dish, that’s what slave masters wanted, required or requested,” Smith said, explaining the history of pork as a soul food delicacy.

“It was a celebratory thing, so whenever the slave masters would ask for a dish, he was asking enslaved Africans to come through and butcher the whole hog, [so] you got to a point where [slaveowners] would take the meat and leave everyone with the scraps, like the chitterlings, the tails, the feet,” he said.

“No matter what you’re dealing with, food always makes things better,” Smith said.

Chef Cool Dre has been featured on several TV shows but now, he wants to open up his own spot locally where all people can enjoy and learn why soul food is such a staple in Black and Brown communities.