Southern Food

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.


Courtesy of Chef Nolan Wynn

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

For Chef Nolan Wynn, that ingredient is the peanut. He's the executive chef of Banshee in East Atlanta Village, which he co-founded with Faielle Stocco, Peter Chvala and Katie McDonald. "On Second Thought" host Virginia Prescott visited Wynn to learn how to make his savory peanut brittle.


Cyndy Sims Parr / Flickr

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

For Chef Savannah Sasser, that ingredient is sorghum. "On Second Thought" host Virginia Prescott visited Sasser at The Expat, in Athens, Georgia, where she is executive chef. 


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.


The Bitter Southerner

In New York in the 1980s, Chuck Reece had his first job in journalism covering the media industry for Adweek magazine. That meant he got the first look at network television pilots and magazine protoypes, and every time any of those had something to do with the South, he said he only saw a couple of stereotypes. 

"One looked like the party scene from the beginning of 'Gone with the Wind' except maybe with updated clothing, and the other one looked like ... 'The Beverly Hillbillies' to 'Duck Dynasty,' most recently," Reece said. "Those two stereotypes just didn't fit the South that I grew up in and knew."


Virginia Prescott / GPB

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

For Chef Virginia Willis, that's the pear — her favorite fall fruit. Willis, who is also the author of cookbooks including "Lighten Up, Y'all," grew up around her grandparents' pear tree. She invited us into her kitchen for a lesson on how to make pear mostarda and black pepper cream cheese biscuits. Both recipes are in her newest cookbook, "Secrets of the Southern Table," and with her permission, are reprinted below for you to try out at home. 


On Second Thought for Thursday, June 14, 2018

Jun 14, 2018
GPB

Flannery O’Connor is regarded by many as Georgia’s greatest fiction writer. Her books are written with dark humor, eccentric characters, and it’s all set in a devout Catholic faith. All of which made her a leading voice in southern gothic literature.

 

 


Mariam Akbar / GPB

Most of America’s history has the experiences of food segregated. Everything differentiated between white and black Americans from: where you shopped, how you ate, what you ate, and the value of certain cuisines. Todd Richards, an Atlanta chef and owner of Richard’s Southern Fried just released his newest book about the ever-changing southern recipes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

On Second Thought For Wednesday, May 30, 2018

May 30, 2018
GPB

To many Georgians, barbecue is not just food. It's a lifestyle. Over the years, barbecue has evolved in the Atlanta area. Southern folks still grill out, but in recent years the cuisine has re-emerged as an integrated bond of multiple different cultures and communities. Over the next few months, we'll explore Georgia’s greatest barbecue joints and step into their kitchens to see what makes their food different. To start off our the series, we sat down with John T. Edge. He’s the director of the Southern Foodways Alliance and author of "The Potlikker Papers: A Food History of the Modern South."

How The South Became 'Barbecue Nation'

May 30, 2018
Jeff Kubina / Flickr

To many Georgians, barbecue is not just food. It's a lifestyle.

Over the years, barbecue has evolved in the Atlanta area. Southern folks still grill out, but in recent years the cuisine has re-emerged as an integrated bond of multiple different cultures and communities.

Food can evoke so many rich memories. A book by Savannah food writer Jonathan Barrett captures some of the stories tied to Southern recipes. We talked with Barrett, author of the new book Cook & Tell, in 2017. We also heard from freelance writer Amy Condon, who contributed her own story to the book.

On Second Thought For Monday, December 4, 2017

Dec 4, 2017

Churches in the United States are barred from endorsing political candidates, or contributing to campaigns. This part of our tax code is known as the Johnson Amendment. It includes all non-profit organizations. But Republicans, including President Trump, want to repeal the amendment as part of a federal tax overhaul happening now. We talk about politics from the pulpit with researcher Matthew Boedy, an assistant professor at the University of North Georgia. And we discuss how taxes change behavior with Susan Anderson,  an accounting professor at Elon University in North Carolina.

Sean Powers / On Second Thought.

All this year, we have raised a glass to Southern food. From sweet tea to fried chicken, every Southern dish tells a story. Southern food scholar Adrian Miller and Ashli Stokes of the Center for the Study of the New South helped us dig into the history of mac and cheese, and how the creamy dish helps us understand Southern identity. 

Southern food has a history as rich as its taste. Whether it's red beans and rice, fried chicken, biscuits or potlikker, the history of Southern food stretches from slave plantations, to the Montgomery Bus Boycott, to our own kitchens today. We talk about the origins of our favorite Southern dishes with culinary historian John T. Edge of the Southern Foodways Alliance. He is the author of the new book, “The Potlikker Papers: A Food History of the Modern South.”

Photo: Jason Thrasher

John T. Edge is the director of the Southern Foodways Alliance. Based out of the University of Mississippi, the SFA studies and documents Southern food cultures. A respected authority, Edge writes about Southern food and culture for publications such as Garden & Gun Magazine and The Oxford American.

The history of Southern food is as rich as its flavors. Whether it's red beans and rice, fried chicken, biscuits or potlikker, the history of our region’s fare stretches far and wide – from slave plantations, to the Montgomery Bus Boycott, and into our kitchens today. 

NATE STEINER

These days you can find sweet tea just about everywhere in Georgia. However, there was a time when it was more rare. GPB's Sean Powers pours up a tall glass of history with freelance journalist Tove Danovich and Vernell Mosley of the Sweet Tea Factory.

"HISTORY OF SWEET TEA" written by Linda Stradley of What's Cooking America:

Atlanta Journal-Constitution Photographic Archive

Before Nashville became the world’s country music capitol, a 1920s Atlanta radio program popularized the music beyond the Southeastern United States. Sears & Roebuck broadcast “Dinnerbell R.F.D.” from 1926 to 1928 out of the tower of its massive Atlanta distribution center, today’s Ponce City Market. This weekend, a group of Atlanta musicians and chefs will present a modern interpretation of the live fiddle music show.

Linda Chen/GPB News

Friendships have ended, feelings have been hurt and a cultural war has been declared over the latest national debate to rage on social media: How do you like your grits? Sweet, salty, buttery or cheesy... how you flavor this dish calls into question taste and Southern identity.

We speak about this cultural divide and learn about the history of grits from chef and cookbook author Virginia Willis.

Join the debate on Twitter

Linda Chen/GPB News

Only the most special of foods can make a seamless transition from breakfast platter to dinner plate. The biscuit certainly holds that honor here in the South. They come baked, fried, or flaky, almost always crowned with a shiny glaze of melted butter. So imagine our excitement when we discovered that there is a region of Georgia dedicated to this Southern delicacy. The so-called "Biscuit Triangle" is located north of Atlanta, between Marietta and Kennesaw. 

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Atlanta rapper Killer Mike is determined to see Bernie Sanders in the White House. We talk with him about the presidential race, the Black Lives Matter Movement, and his music.

Linda Chen/GPB News

Francine Bryson is a self-proclaimed "redneck."  She's also a championship baker who watched her mother and grandmothers whip up Southern suppers in the kitchen every Sunday. Bryson takes those classic recipes and makes them her own in her new cookbook, "Country Cooking From A Redneck Kitchen."