Right before the pandemic, Hugh Augustine was completely ready to hit the road on a 20 city countrywide tour to market his new album. Unable to vacation, Augustine tapped into his “secret talent” of cooking and improving vegan recipes he’d been making for the last three yrs. He describes the Leimert Park and Baldwin Hills communities, in which he life and was elevated, as a food items desert. He sees his cooking as a variety of activism, bringing healthy and nutritious taking in to the neighborhood. Every Friday he’s dishing out Hugh’s Hot Bowls in Leimert Park.
Hugh Augustine tells KCRW:
“I characterize the Leimert Park local community in Los Angeles. I’m a nearby artist, entrepreneur and vegan chef. Before COVD-19 pandemic, I was functioning diligently in the studio each individual day, earning an album, and I was obtaining completely ready to hit the highway on a 20 city national tour to encourage that album.
The day that I read we have been shutting down for COVID-19 and I was no lengthier heading to be in a position to go on tour, I was rather devastated. I didn’t truly know what I was going to be executing in my day to day. I knew that I was heading to be dwelling a lot.
And I understood I was likely to need to have to cook. I grew up with my mom jogging a catering company, so I often was cooking in the kitchen from a incredibly younger age. It is really kind of been my key talent given that I can try to remember.
With all that extra no cost time all through the pandemic, I figured, let’s start cooking. Let’s get superior at these vegan recipes and commence trying some new things as properly. I figured that there were being people in my group that had been on the lookout for some balanced, reasonably priced selections during the pandemic, and why not be the person to supply that to the local community?
I’ve been vegan now for just about a few a long time. I became vegan as a way to be preventative about my health and fitness treatment. We have so lots of fundamental overall health challenges in the neighborhood, and a whole lot of them occur from our life-style decisions. So I just desired to do some thing preventative about that. And I know the greatest way to do that is to begin with the foodstuff.
I come from the Leimert Park, Baldwin Hills group of Los Angeles. We’re a predominantly African American group. The local community is prosperous with lifestyle. Our tunes, so considerably background of why folks are drawn to Los Angeles, will come from my community. We have been the house to a lot of African American singers, songwriters, film stars, directors. It truly is a really distinctive area with a whole lot of resourceful strength.
I totally see what I’m undertaking with the cooking as a variety of activism. In which I live, it is really regarded as a meals desert — a spot that lacks healthful, nutritious food that is also economical to the individuals in the local community. Compared to, when you consider about Los Angeles and the diverse neighborhoods, a spot like Brentwood, or Beverly Hills, the place you can find natural farmers’ marketplaces. There are distinctive chains that have a better high-quality of organic and natural selections and create. There is a greater focus on farm-to-table in those people institutions.
Exactly where I dwell, even chains that are in my community that also exist in other communities in LA, we have a decreased top quality of food that’s coming into our grocery shops with fewer selections. It’s preposterous to me that we you should not have these necessities, these fundamental requirements. But I am grateful to be in a situation to deliver some style of assist in that way.
My mom was actually happy when she saw that I was composed up in the LA Instances. It was practically like a passing of the baton or carrying on the torch, in a way. My dad was in the audio company, and so a good deal of the time, expanding up accomplishing music, it was like I was using just after my father. Now that I’m in the foodstuff sector, it really is like I am having right after my mother. She’s very happy of the development that I manufactured and the mission that I’m on.
Hugh’s Very hot Bowls is readily available each individual Friday in Leimert Park in front of the Regency West, on 43rd Road amongst Degnan Blvd. and Creed Ave. Each 7 days we have a rotating menu. Very last week, I built our Soul Bowl, which we’re pretty common for. It’s pink beans and rice, clear greens, mac and cheese, candied yams, and a vegan cornbread muffin. I definitely enjoy earning that meal since it truly is the vegan edition of anything that we experienced in the residence all the time for holidays, and one thing that truly makes me sense related to my relatives, to my grandmother and our history in coming to LA.”