North Minneapolis soul food chef appears on national cooking show

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A chef on the north side of Minneapolis was featured on The Cooking Channel for her soulful spirit and food.

Chef Wendy Puckett has been serving up tasty meals at Wendy’s House of Soul since 2019.

Even before Puckett could reach the stove, she knew she’d spend most of her time in the kitchen.

“I started with my grandmother at an early age. As long as I can remember I was on her hip cooking,” she said.

Music was one of the main ingredients.

“There was always music playing whether it was gospel music or just R&B, soulful music, country rock — there were no limitations,” Puckett said.

Fast forward and Puckett is the owner of her restaurant, Wendy’s House of Soul on the corner of Glenwood and Morgan avenues in Minneapolis. It’s well-known for her signature “Soulrolls.”

“I heard nothing but good things about the Soulroll and the Mogul Burger so I got one of each today,” Yoni D, a customer, said.

Now Puckett is gaining national attention. She was featured Wednesday on The Cooking Channel show “Food Paradise.”

“It’s amazing. Sometimes I feel like I’m looking into somebody else’s life. I’m truly blessed,” Puckett said. “Staying faithful, steadfast and encouraged in the midst of some of the down times is really difficult, but it’s amazing to have all the hard work pay off to this.”

The magic happens in the kitchen, but it doesn’t stop there.

Chef Wendy uses her skills to give back. She cooks up free meals for kids on the north side.

At her restaurant, there’s a pay it forward system. If a customer doesn’t have the cash, it’s covered.

“I never want anybody to come in the doors and not have something eat. We’re going to figure it out,” she said.

Puckett puts her heart and soul into every customer and every meal.

“Soulful to me is whatever makes you dance, makes you wiggle, makes you move, makes you smile or makes you feel good,” she said.