A SPECTACULAR SOUTHERN COOKBOOK
Nathalie Dupree and Cynthia Graubart Create a Masterpiece
Edna Lewis in Gourmet Magazine
By Doc Lawrence
I once asked Nathalie Dupree her favorite memory of Julia Child. “Julia came to Rich's (the cooking school at the famous Atlanta department store where Ms. Dupree taught at the cooking school) a number of times, as well as once or twice to my home. The time I most remember was when she did an event for 500 people at the downtown Atlanta Rich's. The line for her book signing was horrific. Then she had seven TV and press interviews that she conducted in the Cooking School, where we were to have lunch. We had made butterbeans, among other things. Every time someone walked by them whether a producer, television crew or one of my students or assistants, they stirred them. It was sort of a subliminal reaction, nervousness over having Julia there. By the time lunch came around, the butterbeans were mush!”
Cynthia Graubart was instrumental in Ms. Dupree’s Southern cooking career, helping take her to a national audience as producer of the television series in 1985 to accompany another influential book New Southern Cooking. The added value in Mastering the Art of Southern Cooking is the continuing the influence of their early collaborations by giving each recipe and advisory permanence based on tradition combined with practicality and usefulness.
Nathalie Dupree is a founder and two-term president of the International Association of Culinary Professionals, a founding member of the Southern Foodways Alliance and active in the James Beard Foundation. She was the founding Chair of the Charleston Food and Wine Festival, as well as organizer and first co-president of the Charleston Chapter of Les Dames d'Escoffier. She also helped organize the Atlanta chapter of the American Institute of Wine and Food and the Atlanta Chapter Les Dames d'Escoffier. She lives in Charleston, South Carolina.
Echoing the sentiments of Edna Lewis, Nathalie Dupree states that “Southern cooking is the mother cuisine of America.” In the words of another child of the South, baseball immortal Dizzy Dean, “it ain’t bragging if you can back it up.” Mastering the Art of Southern Cooking stands alone today as a lifetime achievement, a preservation of food heritage and a mighty handy instrument for cooks at any level. Giving this book to those who want to know how we cook, eat and celebrate down here deep in Dixie is an enjoyable first step on the way to enlightenment.
NOTE: Enjoy “An Old Fashioned Christmas,” the holiday TV special on Carl White’s delightful “Life in the Carolinas” beginning on December 22. Sneak preview:
And the story behind the TV show: