Soulful Blog

All In The Family: Meet Little Chefman Chanric

Stop by the RAFIKI STAND at Lancaster’s Central Market to taste and learn about pitas and other great East African Dishes!

Corey Woods is the owner of Soulcialize Catering and manages the Rafiki stand at Lancaster’s Central Market. He’s also a hard-working single dad to Chanric John Woods on top of all of that!

Chanric has been cooking and helping his dad since before he could really even see the top of the stove (photo). His favorite thing to cook with is Pizza. 

This is where the love for pizza comes in….

Chanric loves to make his own pizza and tops it with extra cheese and pepperoni. If he’s not in the kitchen making his own pizza Chanric loves to go to his favorite pizza shop House of Pizza on E. Chestnut in downtown Lancaster. He loves to save all of the crust until the very end of his meal!

“Chanric would eat pizza every day if he could for breakfast, lunch and dinner.”  says Corey.

It might be in the genes because Corey’s first job was at a pizza shop. He learned a few things along the way when working at the shop and he and Chanric came up with 2 tips for making pizza and wanted to share them with you:

  1. To get the best out of your pizza, it’s good to cook it on a pizza stone at a high temp but keep an eye on it.  
  2. To make your dough rise faster allow it to rise around a source of heat.  

Corey understands that Chanric might not make a career of cooking and he’s ok with that.  “Even though he makes a great pizza, he wants to be a dirt bike rider when he grows up.” What do you like to cook with your kids?


Enjoy Pita's At Rafikis At Central Market

Soulful Blog

Egyptian Fare: This Week At Central Market

Stop by the RAFIKI STAND at Lancaster’s Central Market to taste and learn about pitas and other great East African Dishes!

Everyone Enjoys A Great Pita!

I’m a lover of pita bread and all things to put on top of a pita… how about you?

The word Pita or “pitta” is in the family of yeast-leavened flatbreads baked from wheat flour and are common in the Mediterranean, Middle East, and surrounding areas. They are deliciously tasty and so versatile. 

They can be used to scoop sauces or dips, like hummus or to wrap kebabs, gyros, and falafel like sandwiches. Pitas can also be cut and baked into crispy pita chips.

Pita’s have roots in the prehistoric flatbreads of the Middle East. Evidence from about 14500 years ago, during the Stone Age, shows that the Natufian people in what is now Jordan made a kind of flatbread from wild cereal grains. Here are 23 Easy & Inexpensive Meals You Can Make With Pita Bread

Which is your favorite?

Enjoy Pita's At Rafikis At Central Market

Enjoy Pita's At Rafikis At Central Market

Soulful Blog

Egyptian Fare: This Week At Central Market

Stop by Rafiki’s stand at Lancaster’s Central Market Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays!

Egyptian cuisine makes heavy use of legumes, vegetables, and fruit from Egypt's rich Nile Valley and Delta. It shares similarities with the food of the Eastern Mediterranean region, such as shawarma, kebab, and kofta

Examples of Egyptian dishes include:

Ful medames, mashed fava beans. Pita bread is a staple of Egyptian cuisine - nice Egyptian feta spread to go with your pita. 

Wondering what type of meats are common in Egyptian cooking? Well, they love rabbit, pigeon, chicken, and duck for some dishes and lamb and beef are frequently used for grilling.  

Fish and seafood are also common in Egypt's coastal regions. 

A significant amount of Egyptian cuisine is vegetarian, due to both the historically high price of meat and the needs of the Coptic Christian community, whose religious restrictions require essentially vegan diets for much of the year.

Tea is the national drink of Egypt, and beer is the most popular alcoholic beverage. While Islam is the majority faith in Egypt and observant Muslims tend to avoid alcohol… alcoholic drinks are still readily available in the country.

Popular desserts in Egypt include baklava, basbousa, and kunafa. Common ingredients in desserts include dates, honey, and almonds.

Fantastic Egyptian dishes -- see us at the Rafiki stand at Lancaster's Central Market.

Fantastic Egyptian dishes -- see us at the Rafiki stand at Lancaster's Central Market.

Soulful Blog

Celebrating Martin Luther King Day With Some Of His Favorite Foods and Little Known Facts

The MLK weekend events in Lancaster literally had a damper put on them with ice, cold, snow and winter weather. With a fashionably late arrival... Soulcialize was able to attend just in time to hear Ms. Tamara Knight’s motivational speech which inspired everyone to tell their story. There were so many powerful stories and it was truly an inspiring event. 

Just for fun, we wanted to tell you some fun facts you might not know about Martin Luther King.

Did you know that hIs favorite foods were Pecan Pie, Fried Chicken Sweet Potatoes, and Collard greens among many other southern style favorites? They are some of Soulcialize catering’s favorite menu items as well. 

Here are some other often unknown facts about MLK: 

After earning a divinity degree from Pennsylvania’s Crozer Theological Seminary, King attended graduate school at Boston University, where he received his Ph.D. degree in 1955.


MLK’s birth name was Michael

MLK’s birth name was Michael not Martin. He was born Michael King Jr. on January 15, 1929, In 1934, however, his pastor father was very inspired by the German Protestant Reformation leader Martin Luther. As a result, King Sr. changed his own name as well as that of his then 5-year old son!

MLK entered college at the age of 15

King was such a gifted student that he skipped grades nine and 12 before enrolling in 1944 at Morehouse College, the alma mater of his father and maternal grandfather. Although he was the son, grandson, and great-grandson of Baptist ministers, King did not intend to follow the family vocation until Morehouse president Benjamin E. Mays, a noted theologian, convinced him Comparison of the Conceptions of God in the Thinking of Paul Tillich and Henry Nelson Wieman.

His famous 'I Have a Dream' speech was not his first at the Lincoln Memorial

Six years before his iconic oration at the March on Washington, King was among the civil rights leaders who spoke in the shadow of the Great Emancipator during the Prayer Pilgrimage for Freedom on May 17, 1957. Before a crowd estimated at between 15,000 and 30,000, King delivered his first national address on the topic of voting rights. His speech, in which he urged America to “give us the ballot,” drew strong reviews and positioned him at the forefront of the civil rights leader.

King was imprisoned nearly 30 times

According to the King Center, the civil rights leader went to jail 29 times. He was arrested for acts of civil disobedience and on trumped-up charges, such as when he was jailed in Montgomery, Alabama, in 1956 for driving 30 miles per hour in a 25-mile-per-hour zone.

King narrowly escaped an assassination attempt a decade before his death

On September 20, 1958, King was in Harlem signing copies of his new book, “Stride Toward Freedom,” in Blumstein’s department store when he was approached by Izola Ware Curry. The woman asked if he was Martin Luther King Jr. After he said yes, Curry said, “I’ve been looking for you for five years,” and she plunged a seven-inch letter opener into his chest. The tip of the blade came to rest alongside his aorta, and King underwent hours of delicate emergency surgery. Surgeons later told King that just one sneeze could have punctured the aorta and killed him. From his hospital bed where he convalesced for weeks, King issued a statement affirming his nonviolent principles and saying he felt no ill will toward his mentally ill attacker.

King’s last public speech foretold his death

King had come to Memphis in April 1968 to support the strike of the city’s black garbage workers, and in a speech on the night before his assassination, he told an audience at Mason Temple Church: “Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now … I’ve seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the Promised Land. And I’m happy tonight. I’m not worried about anything. I’m not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.”


A Chef’s Journey: Corey Woods | Soucialize Catering

Told by Aimee Mitchell McGrath, Soul Creative

I love telling stories. I am thrilled to be surrounded with such amazingly talented entreprenuers and feel so grateful to be able to share their journeys. When I first met Corey Woods, soloprenuer and owner of Soulcialize Catering here in Lancaster, I knew I would enjoy collaborating with this talented chef.

Corey has always loved cooking, and has always been drawn to the kitchen. Event as a kid he would cook meals. When he was old enough, he walked to his first job at an Italian restaurant, where tenacity led him from bussing tables all the way to dishwasher and he was facinated with the chefs in the kitchen testing and enjoying the food before the other staffers. 

He took vocational school culinary arts courses during his secior year and he was definitely hooked. He noted there was a certain job security in cooking because people love to eat! He graduated from culinary school in 2012. 

He loves finding great recipes that challenge his skills, and where he can add and subtract ingredients to personalize the dishes. Corey is passionate about the way food brings people together and has a particular love for soul food. Although he can cook anything, soul food feeds his own soul. 

I’ve tried Soulcialize’s food and it’s fantastic. He is a lover of his community here in Lancaster and looks forward to serving you and your culinary and event needs. Soulcialize also has event rental space at their disposal so I encourage you to get in touch with this chef and enjoy the delicious food that will enhance any event you’re hosting! 


Soulful Blog

Eating Healthy Soul Food In The New Year

The first few weeks in January, nearly everyone is saying the same thing… “I ate too much over the holidays.” Right? Then the next plan is usually to go on a diet or try a latest trends like intermittent fasting. Just remember, you can still eat really good soul food and lose weight in the new year!

We know many people think of southern cuisine as being comfort food, which it is… but that doesn’t mean it has to be unhealthy. 

Here are some of our favorite healthy soul food dishes:

Hoppin John Wild Rice - This healthy-version of a classic Southern dish gets a colorful and nutritious boost from peppers, scallions, and whole-grain wild rice. Plus, it's naturally gluten and dairy-free, bursting with vitamin C, and chock-full of fiber. Here’s an easy-to-follow recipe

Oven-Baked Chicken - You don't have to feel guilty about eating BAKED “Fried” Chicken anymore. This super-tender-on-the-inside, crispy-on-the-outside chicken is baked in the oven to lighten things up, and it's gluten-free so all your meat-eating friends can dig in. Here’s an easy-to-follow recipe

Shrimp & Cauliflower “Grits” - We love shrimp and grits and we’re not the only ones. Sometimes it’s presumed this dish is laden with heavy fats and creams… but not in this case. This tangy version gets a healthy twist with cauliflower "grits" made with creamy coconut milk (so it's dairy-free), plus you get a nutrient boost from the mushrooms. Here is a recipe we love for Shrimp & Cauliflower grits.

Sukuma Wiki (Collard Greens) - This tasty dish of African greens can be made totally vegan or cooked with just a few ingredients or you can take it over the top with protein and spices. We love adding protein, garlic and a variety of bold spicescoriander, curry, garlic and cayenne pepper for some heat. You may add or subtract any spice for personal preference. Here’s our favorite version of this dish

If you’re worried about the next company meeting or event you have to attend and don’t want to overeat, or feel bad about what you do eat, call Soulcialize catering and we’ll build a menu for your event. 

This way, you’ll keep your healthy eating vows in check, and provide a great soul food experience for your attendees! What are your favorite soul food dishes? We’d love to hear from you. 


Here's What's Cooking New Years Eve

How do you celebrate the New Year? We love making this staple dish of Kenya to celebrate. Nyama Choma (grilled meat) is a favorite way of preparing and eating meat in East Africa, especially when celebrating events like New Year’s Eve.  

Nyama Choma with Sukuma Wiki and Ugali (Roasted Beef braised kale and cornmeal polenta) is what’s on the menu today. In Kenya, any gathering is an excuse for eating nyama choma, Swahili for "roast meat." From the finest restaurants to roadside shacks, roast goat meat is served up as a kind of social lubricant, often aided by copious amounts of the local beer. Nyama choma is always eaten with the hands, and common side dishes include kachumbari salad and ugali. 

Sukuma wiki is a very rustic African dish, enjoyed in many parts of East African countries like Kenya, Tanzania- just to name a few.   It’s a Swahili phrase meaning, “to stretch the week” especially when paired Ugali (cornmeal fufu). Before the 19th century, sorghum and millet were the primary grains produced and consumed in Kenya. 

Corn, or maize, the main ingredient in ugali, was introduced to the area by Portuguese traders.   It was initially produced for export, but was eventually adopted by locals, who transformed it into the simple and nourishing porridge called ugali.   Soulcialize catering is making this staple dish and will have it available for purchase at central market at the Rafiki stand in Lancaster tomorrow. Celebrate New Years with this tasty dish! 


East African Food Right Here In Lancaster City

Food is precious in Africa. Preparing it is a labor of love. Food is more than sustenance; it is a time for sharing. Soulcialize is passionate about East African food and partnering with local food purveyors in Lancaster. We want to share a bit about the history of East African cusine. 

Meals in East African tradition are communal and eaten with the hands. By touching and feeling the food, eating becomes a delightfully relaxing and intimate activity. Our partner Rafiki offers you an unpretentious East African food style that is true to itself. 

One of the most wonderful things about living in Lancaster is our ethnic diversity and the existence of so many immigrant families that enhance our city. At Rafikis you’ll find bold flavors, colors and texture. Just like the city of Lancaster. 

The kitchen comes alive at Rafiki’s. The vast East African region has a rich diversity of flavors and cooking styles, a mixture of influences from within and outside the continent. 

You might be interested to know that East African region food staples include potatoes, dried meat (biltong), sausages (boerewors) and boboties (mixture of meats and spices) along with  rice, maize, beans and fish. Throughout the region tropical fruits and nuts are used to make desserts, stews and sauces. There is a diverse choice of herbs and spices. Peppery stews are also a common staple. 

Coconut milk and peanut sauce is largely used to cook rice, vegetables, beans and meats. Cooking oils include olive oil, sunflower, soybean, and nut oils. Food and spices aren't the only pleasures enjoyed by East Africans. 

If you are a coffee drinker like many in Lancaster, you’ll want to know that East Africans also drink coffee and teas that are  enjoyed with and after meals. Kenya and South Africa are known for their teas and coffees. 

At Rafiki you will have a chance to taste and experience all these delicacies of Africa. We prepare foods from East Africa and Soulcialize is so happy to join them by bringing our flavored dishes to their custom catering offerings as well. 

Both Soulcialize and Rafiki take special orders. Rafiki also gives you a chance to participate in charity giving. By shopping at Rafiki you support charity work locally and in Alendu, Kenya through Rafiki Africa Foundation.  


Community Partnership & Central Market

Rafiki & Soulcialize: A Match Made In Culinary Heaven!

Soulcialize Catering is now partnering with Rifikis at Central Market! We will be there during market hours, Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays assisting at the Rafiki stand. 

Rafiki is a 100% social interest business that offers food as a service of friendship. When you shop at Rafiki you are providing support for children and families in Africa to be able to afford a meal. Soulcialize loves the opportunity to partner with such amazing community small businesses and is honored to be a part of central market! Check us out at the Rafiki stand. 


Corporate Catering

Customized 5 Course Catering: Personalization At It’s Best

If you’re anything like us, you love to have all of your favorite foods when you are with your friends and family right? There’s just something about food that brings us all together. Holiday parties, or any type of events you are hosting, are made so much better by enjoying the food and tastes you love. When you hire Soulcialize catering for your function… that’s exactly what you’ll get.

We have 8 signature entrees for you to choose from. Here’s an overview of the main dishes:

Finga Lickin Chick’n

Cornmeal Crust’d Catfish

Michael’s Mamma’s Meatloaf

Bae Bae Bac Ribs

Hot Bird

Great Fried Steak

Shrimp n Chedda Bacon Grits

Smove’d Chops

We recommend choosing an entree and sides, then choose the 4 other courses. That way we can help pair the other dishes that will go great with the entree. From soups to sauces, all signature dishes are scratch in house made. 

We also offer over 10 delicious sides from collard greens and mac and cheese to cornbread biscuits and black eyed peas. Everything you could imagine to go with your signature entree. Then choose from our soups/salads, appetizers, and dessert options, and you’re on your way to a delicious event! 

If you have a dish or idea that’s not on our menu, give us your ideas and we will create a customized entree for you.  There’s no time like the new year to throw that bash you have been thinking about. Don’t forget we also have event space available. Contact us today


A Breakfast Meeting Your Team Will Want To Wake Up For

Surprise your team or business partners with a catered breakfast in the new year! Soulcialize catering has you covered with breakfast menus to please any group from fruit salads, Veggi Quiche to Shrimp and Grits and Chix and Waffles! Contact us today and uplevel your next breakfast meeting!


My Favorite Breakfast Recipe

I love serving this McCormick's French Toast recipe especially during the holidays! It's perfect for cold and rainy weekends and even for dinner too!  You can get the full recipe here. What do you love making during the holidays?


Soulcialize: Your Choice For Catering In Lancaster

Every day you cater to others, right? You’re probably exhausted!  We’re here to help. Let Soulcialize plan and cater your next event. 

We believe it’s all in the details... your details... and we’ll collaborate with you to create your memorable event. 

We have years of event planning experience so you’ll love not worrying about a thing. We want you to enjoy your guests, have a good time at your event, and feast upon a delicious soulful meal. Weddings, celebrations, and corporate events are what we do best! 


Planning a wedding? We want you to enjoy your day and leave the details to us. We love sitting together and collaborating with brides, grooms, and families to ensure that they experience the most special and memorable wedding day. 


We love a good party! Let us cater and plan your next celebration. Whether it’s a birthday party, a baby shower, or a graduation party, we know you’ll love the food. Hiring us also gives you the freedom to enjoy the party. When you hire Soulcialize to cater and plan your event… you’ll be amazed with our attention to detail and our signature touches that you’re sure to enjoy.  

Corporate Events

When hosting board meetings, treating your co-workers to a catered lunch, or hosting a lunch-n-learn… look no further than Soulcialize to cater your event. Hiring us allows you to focus on the business at hand.

No event is too big or too small. We love accommodating our clients needs.

Allow Soulcialize to plan and cater your next event and provide you the peace you deserve this season. You’ll be so happy you did! 


What Can We plan & Cater For You?

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