24 hours in Detroit with chef Ederique Goudia

Louisiana native Ederique Goudia, co-owner of Gabriel Hall, an upcoming Creole restaurant, bar, and music venue, has put down roots on the east side of Detroit. With Gabriel Hall based in West Village, she moved to Indian Village so she could be within walking distance of the restaurant when it opens. As an east-sider, Goudia takes pride in her neighborhood.

An expert in food, music, and culture with more than 20 years of restaurant industry experience, Goudia highlights her favorite local spots on the east side. Here’s how Goudia would spend a perfect day in the city she now calls home.

6 a.m. - Erma Henderson Park

Goudia has a 160-pound English Mastiff dog named Bear who she walks in the mornings at Erma Henderson Park, located on Jefferson Avenue along the banks of the Detroit River. Named after Erma Henderson, the first African American woman elected to Detroit City Council, the park offers sweeping views of Belle Isle. Goudia takes a break from her workout.

8 a.m. - Detroit Body Garage

Goudia walks over to the nearby Detroit Body Garage for an hour-long workout with her personal trainer, Jake Schoenknecht. When the pandemic hit, Goudia started working out regularly, including biking to work and riding several times a week, which helped her shed 30 pounds. Living in Indian Village, it was easy for her to ride to Belle Isle, downtown, or the riverwalk. "It's a great location to bike," she says. But with the temperature dropping, Goudia needed an extra push to keep up her fitness routine so she signed up for personal training workouts. "It's a good jump-start to my day," she says. Schoenknecht is also director of Small Batch Detroit, a program of the Detroit Food Academy, where Goudia also works as a classroom facilitator. They start off with stability, then mobility, and followed by strength. She recently maxed out on 100 pounds on the bench press and 145 pounds deadlifting.

9 a.m. - Yellow Light Coffee and Donuts

After her workout, Goudia hits up the drive-through at Yellow Light Coffee and Donuts in Jefferson Chalmers to treat herself to the hot chicken and pickles biscuit sandwich and a cup of tea.

9:15 a.m. - Neighborhood Grocery

Goudia then heads over to the site of the upcoming Neighborhood Grocery for a meeting with Raphael Wright, who has been working since 2017 to open a full-service grocery store in an underserved community in the city. Wright and Goudia also teamed up on Taste the Diaspora, a month-long initiative launched during Black History Month to celebrate Africa’s contribution to American cuisine in highlighting the food of the African Diaspora. Each week focused on a specific cuisine, including African, Caribbean, and American. Local chefs partnered with Black farmers and food producers to curate dishes for a shoebox lunch, a nod to the food boxes used by African American travelers during the Jim Crow era. The meals resonated with the dining community and sold out quickly; based on the success of the inaugural run, the team is working on bringing back the initiative for Juneteenth. 

11:30 a.m. - Jefferson Avenue Presbyterian Church

Goudia wears many hats in the local food industry, including chef in the Upcycling Kitchen, an initiative of nonprofit Make Food Not Waste. Goudia leads a team to transform food that would've otherwise ended up in a landfill into healthy meals like vegetable coconut curry and apple and turkey stuffed sweet potatoes. The kitchen is based at Jefferson Avenue Presbyterian Church. (Disclosure: Dorothy Hernandez is on the board of Make Food Not Waste.) Goudia at Jefferson Avenue Presbyterian Church.

3:30 p.m. - Leafme.co

Goudia heads back home for some online shopping to support local businesses such as Leafme.co, a Black- and woman-owned plant delivery service based on the east side. One of her favorite plants is the Calathea Beauty Star and the White Bird of Paradise, which " 'is considered a symbol of freedom, joy, and magnificence' ... doesn't that sound beautiful?" Goudia says of the description of the South African plant. She learned about the business six months into the pandemic and bought some plants for herself and her friends as well. "One of the things that I've definitely focused on throughout the pandemic is self-care and mental health," she says. "And so I've increased the amount of greenery I have inside my house, in my living space."

5 p.m. - Rose's Fine Food and Wine

After a day of meetings and cooking, it's time to unwind. Goudia heads to Rose's Fine Food and Wine for a happy hour beverage, such as the Frukstereo Ciderday Night Fever, a 2017 Swedish sparkling hard cider.

6 p.m. - Smokey G's Smokehouse

Goudia grabs dinner at Smokey G's Smokehouse at Robert C. Valade Park on the riverfront. "You cannot go wrong with the brisket," she says, adding that it's "smoked to perfection." She also likes the ribs and smoked turkey leg. The meats are so good she doesn't even need sides, she says.

7 p.m. - Detroit Riverwalk

After a busy day checking out her community's many unique businesses, Goudia caps it off with an evening stroll on the Riverwalk.

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