According to Southern cooking icon Nathalie Dupree, Southerners lie awake at night and remember their grandmother’s biscuits, their Aunt Sue’s mashed potatoes and gravy, the grits from the mill down the road, and the boiled peanuts their grandfather taught them to cook in a large, well-used can over a fire in the backyard. “We crave our food and dream about it,” Nathalie says.
“I've experienced great changes in Southern cooking in the nearly seventy years I have lived there,” she recalls. “I missed it when I lived in London and France; I missed it when I lived in Boston and San Francisco; and I've cooked it myself for most of those years.” Nathalie says that when she opened her first Southern restaurant in 1971 in Georgia, there were no Atlanta restaurants serving fresh vegetables. She believes she was the first Atlanta restaurateur to grow food and serve it. Things have come a long way. “The changes have been remarkable, both in understanding and cooking Southern ingredients. We now acknowledge the broad input in Southern food from Africans as well as whites, and there is now significant research and documentation of Southern food from its earliest days to now.”
Listen in to Nathalie’s recollections of the rich Southern heritage that has shaped our nation’s culinary landscape.
Nathalie Dupree (www.nathaliedupree.com) is a best-selling author who has written 11 cookbooks and has appeared on more than 300 television shows for The Food Network, PBS, and The Learning Channel. She has been prominently featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Bon Appétit, and many more publications. Nathalie has been a guest on The Today Show, Good Morning America, and CNN. She wrote the best-selling book New Southern Cooking and won James Beard Awards for Southern Memories and Comfortable Entertaining. Her most recent book is Southern Biscuits.