BLACK Cuisine, Culinary

Remembering the “Queen of Soul Food” Sylvia Woods

Sylvia Woods, a New York City icon not only in the culinary world but to the Harlem community died Thursday afternoon at her Mount Vernon home, She was 86 and had been battling Alzheimer’s disease, family members said in a statement.

She died just as Mayor Bloomberg was paying tribute to the 50th anniversary of Sylvia’s at a gala reception at Gracie Mansion.
“We lost a legend today,” the mayor said.

Upon hearing the news, the Rev. Al Sharpton offered fond memories of the owner’s historical location. “Sylvia’s has been more than a restaurant, it has been a meeting place for black America,” he said.

Sylvia trained to become a beautician in New York and also ran a beauty shop in South Carolina. With a loan from her mother. Woods and late husband,Herbert deemed it fit to start their own restaurant business in 1962; which started as a 36 seat lunch counter. During the early 1990s the business expanded and now seats up to 450 people. It also has a catering business. Sylvia came out with her own line of soul food products ranging from sauces to cook books that are sold nationally.

“Ms. Woods was surrounded by a host of family and loved ones,” the statement from her family read. “The family is thankful for your prayers.”

In lieu of flowers, the family said it would appreciate donations to the Sylvia and Herbert Woods Scholarship Endowment Foundation,  in which the family created in 2001  which provides scholarships to Harlem children.

Funeral arrangements are still being finalized.

Our Prayers goes out to the Woods family.


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Courtesy of Wikipedia and

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