culinary arts

La'Raven Taylor/GPB

On Second Thought continues its "Main Ingredient" series in which a chef tells us about his or her essential southern ingredient. 

For Chef Deborah VanTrece, it's okra — a key ingredient she's cooked with since she was a teenager. VanTrece invited us into her restaurant kitchen at Twisted Soul Cookhouse and Pours in Atlanta and prepared succotash with okra.

Leighton Rowell / GPB

Whether you go yellow or white, sweet or savory, grits are a Southern food staple now popping up on menus all over the country.

Food writer Erin Byers Murray goes deep in Grits: A Cultural and Culinary Journey Through the South, talking with growers, millers and chefs to understand the origins and evolution of grits. Along the way, she examines how race, gender and politics simmer in the significance of grits.

Main Ingredient: Pat Pascarella On Ossabaw Pork

Dec 10, 2018
Leighton Rowell / GPB

Chef Pat Pascarella trained under Eric Ripert at Le Bernardin in New York, but earned his Southern street cred as executive chef of The Optimist in Atlanta. In 2018, he went on to open The White Bull in Decatur. We caught up with Chef Pat at The White Bull, where he told us his "Main Ingredient."


The White Bull churns its own butter and mills flour from Georgia red wheat. The menu changes to reflect what the restaurant can buy from farmers across the state, so Chef Pat threw a little twist. Instead of the country ham that is the centerpiece on many a Southern Christmas table, he chose Ossabaw pork, from a Spanish breed of pig that evolved in isolation on Ossabaw Island in south Georgia.