Prior to the pandemic, Hugh Augustine was completely ready to hit the street on a 20 town countrywide tour to market his new album. Unable to journey, Augustine tapped into his “secret talent” of cooking and enhancing vegan recipes he’d been earning for the last three decades. He describes the Leimert Park and Baldwin Hills communities, wherever he life and was raised, as a food items desert. He sees his cooking as a type of activism, bringing nutritious and nutritious having to the neighborhood. Every Friday he’s dishing out Hugh’s Hot Bowls in Leimert Park.
Hugh Augustine tells KCRW:
“I represent the Leimert Park community in Los Angeles. I’m a local artist, entrepreneur and vegan chef. Before COVD-19 pandemic, I was operating diligently in the studio just about every day, creating an album, and I was getting ready to strike the street on a 20 city countrywide tour to advertise that album.
The working day that I read we were being shutting down for COVID-19 and I was no extended heading to be capable to go on tour, I was pretty devastated. I did not really know what I was likely to be doing in my working day to day. I understood that I was heading to be residence a ton.
And I understood I was heading to will need to cook. I grew up with my mother operating a catering business enterprise, so I often was cooking in the kitchen area from a extremely youthful age. It is form of been my secret talent due to the fact I can keep in mind.
With all that additional no cost time all through the pandemic, I figured, let’s start off cooking. Let us get much better at these vegan recipes and start out striving some new stuff as very well. I figured that there had been folks in my community that were on the lookout for some balanced, cost-effective selections all through the pandemic, and why not be the individual to provide that to the neighborhood?
I’ve been vegan now for pretty much three many years. I turned vegan as a way to be preventative about my health and fitness care. We have so lots of fundamental wellbeing challenges in the group, and a lot of them come from our way of life choices. So I just preferred to do some thing preventative about that. And I know the ideal way to do that is to start off with the food.
I appear from the Leimert Park, Baldwin Hills local community of Los Angeles. We’re a predominantly African American group. The local community is prosperous with lifestyle. Our songs, so much heritage of why people today are drawn to Los Angeles, will come from my neighborhood. We have been the residence to several African American singers, songwriters, motion picture stars, administrators. It really is a really special spot with a whole lot of imaginative electricity.
I completely see what I am undertaking with the cooking as a kind of activism. Wherever I are living, it’s regarded as a food items desert — a position that lacks healthy, healthy food stuff that is also reasonably priced to the folks in the community. Vs ., when you feel about Los Angeles and the diverse neighborhoods, a place like Brentwood, or Beverly Hills, where you can find natural farmers’ marketplaces. There are unique chains that have a greater good quality of natural and organic alternatives and create. There is a even larger concentrate on farm-to-desk in people institutions.
Where I reside, even chains that are in my local community that also exist in other communities in LA, we have a lower high-quality of meals which is coming into our grocery shops with much less possibilities. It truly is absurd to me that we don’t have these requirements, these basic demands. But I am grateful to be in a situation to deliver some variety of aid in that way.
My mother was seriously happy when she noticed that I was published up in the LA Instances. It was just about like a passing of the baton or carrying on the torch, in a way. My father was in the audio company, and so a ton of the time, increasing up performing new music, it was like I was taking soon after my dad. Now that I am in the food stuff field, it truly is like I am getting soon after my mother. She’s pretty happy of the progress that I built and the mission that I’m on.
Hugh’s Sizzling Bowls is accessible each and every Friday in Leimert Park in entrance of the Regency West, on 43rd Road involving Degnan Blvd. and Creed Ave. Every single week we have a rotating menu. Very last 7 days, I made our Soul Bowl, which we’re rather popular for. It is pink beans and rice, cleanse greens, mac and cheese, candied yams, and a vegan cornbread muffin. I actually love making that meal because it truly is the vegan model of a little something that we experienced in the residence all the time for holidays, and one thing that genuinely helps make me come to feel connected to my household, to my grandmother and our record in coming to LA.”