Thursday, Feb. 09, 2012

Gladys Knight's Chicken & Waffles

Though her music is what earned her the title "The Empress of Soul," you'd be forgiven for thinking Gladys Knight's moniker had something to do with her growing empire of soul food restaurants. In 1996, the legend partnered with a fellow vocalist to open "Gladys Knight and Ron Winan's Chicken & Waffles" in Atlanta. Knight has said she got the inspiration for the poultry-meets-breakfast combination from Wells Supper Club, a Harlem eatery where she and other famous musicians stopped at when they toured through New York City. Wells Supper Club pioneered the dish, which is now a soul food staple, when they opened in 1938 as a compromise for jazz musicians and other entertainers whose late-night performances meant they missed dinner, but arrived too early for breakfast. Knight's two Atlanta eateries carry that torch, staying open later on weekends to offer the soul singer's original recipe.