Sweet tea, porch swings...the South is known for many things, but what stands out in my mind when I think about the southern way of life is the food. Maybe it's because I'm a chef, or maybe it's because most of my fondest memories involve either a kitchen or gathering around the supper table. People in the South will break their backs to show you the true meaning of hospitality, putting out a spread that could feed a small army for a dinner party of six or so. In the South, food shows kindness and every southern cook will tell you that their most important ingredient is love.
Maybe it is the love poured out of gravy boats and bacon pans that started my affair with southern food, but it is the time tested recipes and the richness of the heritage and ingredients that have carried my crush to a full-fledged obsession. The South is rich with delectable selections of local veggies and fruits, not to mention the local farmers who pride themselves in the best beef/pork/chicken around these here parts. The food people cook here hasn't changed much from the way great-great-grandma used to make it and that's just fine with southerners – and me.