Herbert “Herb” J. Hudson, founder of the internationally recognized Roscoe’s House of Chicken ‘n Waffles, a Los Angeles-based soul food restaurant chain, has been named the 2018 Culinary Icon Award winner for the National Fried Chicken Festival presented by Raising Cane’s. Previous winners of the highly-coveted award include Leah Chase of Dooky Chase’s Restaurant (2016) and Kerry Seaton Stewart of Willie Mae’s Scotch House (2017).
Roscoe’s House of Chicken ‘n Waffles began when two partners, “Roscoe and Herb,” had a dream to open a restaurant serving Southern-style comfort food with a twist on the West Coast. They made that dream a reality in 1975 by opening their first restaurant in Hollywood, California.
It is best known, as the name states, for serving chicken and waffles, both together and separately. With seven locations throughout Southern California in Los Angeles and Orange county areas, it is a staple to the industry and under Mr. Hudson’s leadership, Roscoe’s House of Chicken ‘n Waffles has served their famous dishes for more than 42 years.
“It is such an honor to recognize Mr. Hudson and his remarkable contributions to the culinary industry over the past four decades,” said Cleveland Spears, III, FCF organizer and president/CEO of the Spears Group. “Mr. Hudson has cemented Roscoe’s into American Pop Culture and he continues to bring people together through his love of fried chicken, which is what our festival is all about.”
“Raising Cane’s is thrilled to honor this culinary icon from California at the 2018 National Fried Chicken Festival,” said Todd Graves, founder, chairman, and CEO of Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers. “When I was in LA working as a boilermaker, Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles was one of my favorites. Mr. Hudson has continued to do what he loves for decades by serving delicious food to people at his restaurants and that inspires me.”
Roscoe’s has been legendary since it opened as Hudson had friends in the entertainment industry, such as the late Natalie Cole, who performed at the grand opening of the original location in Hollywood.
The Los Angeles Times refers to Roscoe’s as “such an L.A. institution that people don’t even question the strange combo anymore.” The New York Times refers to it as a “beloved soul food chain.” The original location in Hollywood remains popular with celebrities.
The National Fried Chicken Festival attracts dishes and southern favorites from restaurants nationwide. After hosting more than 166,000 guests in its sophomore year, organizers are planning for over 200,000 guests along the Mississippi River in New Orleans during the annual fall weekend.