Kitchen Talk: African-American Holiday Cooking Traditions – Part ll

Serving Up Soul Food on Jeff Davis

Barbara Anderson Bryan, owner, LBJs@Traditionz Smokehouse

Of all the hats that Barbara Anderson Bryan has worn – singer, musician, corporate employee, business owner – the one she’s most comfortable sporting these days is that of a chef. Her love for cooking developed when she was in high school and her home economics teacher noticed her culinary talents. The teacher enlisted Bryan to help her cater school-related events. The student excelled. Bryan picked up many of her cooking skills from her father, Herman Anderson, who ran a catering business in their hometown in Richmond, Virginia for many years. Yet, when Bryan attended Virginia Union University, she chose music, a passion shared by her mother and three brothers. Forced to leave VUU due to a lack of money to continue paying for her education at the private, historically black university, Bryan worked several years performing several jobs, the most recent at DuPont in Richmond’s southside. Ready for new challenges after spending five years at DuPont’s Spruance manufacturing plant on Jefferson Davis Highway, Bryan noticed an empty restaurant across the street. The rest is history. LBJ’s @Traditionz Smokehouse has been open a little less than two years and business is booming. Bryan keeps it that way by serving loyal customers crispy hot chicken wings, fish, pork chops and more with all the fixings. But she mainly prides herself on her signature egg rolls filled with surprising secrets designed to please any palate. Here’s her story.