Southern food is a staple in our house. My wife is from Louisiana with family farms in Alabama, and my side of the family is from all over the south, ranging from Tennessee to Texas to Florida.
Growing up, we ate all kinds of homemade family recipes. Casseroles were common due to the fact that my mom was cooking for an army; herself, my dad, me and my 7 siblings. One of my favorite meals growing up, and even to this day, is our grandmother's homemade biscuits and gravy recipe from scratch. My wife recalls her family recipes of red beans and rice, and seafood gumbo (which I sadly didn't even know existed until I met her).
What I love about southern food is that it's all so different. It might be easy for someone who isn't from here to stereotype southern food as "fried chicken" (which is a great stereotype and unbelievable food), but in reality, there is so much more soul and depth behind farmers, ingredients, and chefs. Even if some of the core ingredients are the same, everyone takes a different approach to preparation.
Earlier this month we teamed Lafayette Travel to spotlight and cover one of their city's amazing chefs, Marc Krampe (Social Southern), who came to town in honor of Garden & Gun's Louisiana-Lowcountry Restaurant Night in Charleston. Marc teamed up with our good friend and one of our favorite chefs in town, Jeremiah Bacon from The Macintosh.
Despite the "Hurricane Matthew evacuation announcement" earlier that day (which caused mass panic throughout the city), these two guys and their teams kept their composure and pulled off an amazing dinner.
The night featured a refreshed, one-time menu of Cajun-inspired dishes fused with South Carolina flavors. Some of our favorite foods were the Cajun Shrimp Toast and Boudin by Jeremiah and the Chicken Fried Frog Legs and Popcorn Rice Congee with soft shell crawfish by Marc.
One of the reasons we loved this event so much, was because it was based around the idea of collaboration. This is a word that we love, but can sometimes be overused. However, if you have two or more parties that are 100% all in, it becomes something special. It's based on the idea that together you can create something more beautiful than could if you were apart.
If you visit Charleston anytime soon, make sure you check out The Macintosh, and if you make it out to Lafayette, be sure to check out Marc Krampe's restaurants there. We haven't been to Lafayette before, but after tasting some of Marc's dishes, we're now planning our next trip!
Big thanks again to Lafayette Travel, Marc Krampe, Jeremiah Bacon, and The Macintosh for being such amazing hosts. Can't wait for next time!