How Master Chef Edward Lee Celebrates Southern Cooking


“I’m defined by two sites: New York and Kentucky,” suggests chef Edward Lee, who ran a productive cafe in his hometown of New York Town, but discovered fame by opening 610 Magnolia in Louisville, Kentucky, which honors and celebrates the traditions of Southern cuisine. In this documentary for YesChef, Lee visits two Kentucky establishments that impact the cuisine and the spirit of Louisville: Huge Momma’s Soul Kitchen and the Maker’s Mark bourbon distillery.

At Major Momma’s Soul Kitchen, Lee describes his to start with time making an attempt dishes like collard greens, candied yams, and fried catfish. “There was a thing about it that just spoke to me,” he says as he watches owner Jessie Green, a.k.a. “Big Momma,” batter and fry hen, and pat croquettes into round, breaded orbs. He goes on to talk about how sites like Large Momma’s Soul Kitchen area are the types passing recipes and traditions down from technology to technology prolonged before Southern food turned “trendy,” or showcased in places to eat throughout the nation. “My fried hen does not exist devoid of her fried hen, and it’s still not as superior as hers,” he says. “To me it is our duty collectively to help these areas and give them their credit rating. To me these are like residing treasures.”

Rob Samuels, COO and grandson of the Maker’s Mark founders, then requires Lee via the record of bourbon in Kentucky. “It’s not an accident that 96 percent of bourbon is built below,” he says, describing how the Kentucky oak trees, drinking water, and traditions of Samuels’s spouse and children make the spirit stand out between other distilleries. “To me, bourbon now has develop into an ingredient, so it is one thing I use a whole lot in my cooking as properly,” Lee suggests. “It provides a good deal of complexity to meals if you know how to use it appropriate.”

Lee’s inspirations then appear jointly as he helps make one particular of his favourite dishes: oysters and grits in bourbon brown butter. Lee talks about how oysters employed to be abundant in the region, earning them a widespread foods, prior to they ended up above farmed. Now that they are extra rare, they’re observed as luxurious. So for this dish, he requires the ingredients with ties to Kentucky, and frivolously poaches fresh new oysters in a vat of steamy brown butter, bourbon, and salt. He then plates some gradual-cooked grits, a dollop of butter, and tops the dish with the poached oysters, applying some of the remaining brown butter and bourbon combination as a sauce to top rated the dish.

“I enjoy this position. It is a extremely group-pushed put. It is not New York, it operates at a slower pace,” Lee claims. “As an individual who wants to cook dinner for a living, I couldn’t ask for a much better put to be in.”

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