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Oral Histories

The SFA oral history program documents life stories from the American South. Collecting these stories, we honor the people whose labor defines the region.

ORAL HISTORY

David Ragoonath


Soul Central

David Ragoonath was born and raised in Trinidad and Tobago. He came to the U.S. for winning a bowling tournament but found his passion for food and cooking after managing a restaurant in New York. In Charlotte, he apprenticed at a bbq joint, Hog Heaven, and a soul food favorite, Lola’s restaurant before opening Soul Central. Soul Central is fully committed to honoring and continuing the legacy of African American and Southern food traditions but it also includes flavors from Mr. Ragoonath’s homeland. At his five-table restaurant in Plaza Midwood, his customers enjoy fried chicken, fried catfish, and his famous meatloaf along with other staples like greens, black-eye-peas, and macaroni and cheese.

Interviewer:
Joseph Ewoodzie

Photographer:
Peter Taylor

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The Southern Foodways Alliance drives a more progressive future by leading conversations that challenge existing constructs, shape perspectives, and foster meaningful discussions. We reconsider the past with research, scrutiny, and documentation.

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