Best Cornbread

Minnie Bell's Soul Movement

It's rare to get a platter of fried chicken, mac 'n' cheese, and cornbread and be most excited about the cornbread. But that's what happens at Minnie Bell's Soul Movement, the temporary food stall inside Emeryville's Public Market. And that's no knock on chef-owner Fernay McPherson's fried chicken, which gets brined in buttermilk and dropped into the fryer with rosemary, or her creamy mac, which is strewn with crispy, cheesy bits throughout. They're both excellent, but it's also reasonable to expect them to be excellent. Cornbread, however, is too often a dry, crumbly afterthought. McPherson's cornbread arrives golden brown and shiny on top, with chewy, brownie-like edges and a tender yellow crumb flecked with nutty browned butter. The depth of flavor — accented with subtle notes of vanilla and sweetness — makes this cornbread a starring attraction.

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