Seafood tastes different in the South. It’s no rumor the shrimp is pinker, oysters juicier and fish flakier. Some attribute this to the magic of the South’s brackish water, or because it’s prepared using recipes passed down through generations. With sensational seafood in mind, we went to revered cookbook author and guru, Nathalie Dupree for a tasty peek at her Southern cuisine. We were lucky enough to interview Nathalie, who speaks with the unwavering voice of an expert, “Our seafood is just better. There’s no other way to describe it, it’s taste all the way. Fish are what they eat and here the shrimp just eat better things.”
Nathalie has become a household name for elevating the type of southern food we’ve grown up smelling in Grandma’s kitchen. From fresh shrimp and grits—Nathalie’s favorite—to fluffy biscuits smothered with butter and jam, she’s found a way to capture the soul of southern cuisine and bundle it into 750+ recipes and 14 cookbooks. She welcomes young, old, experienced and greenhorns to fearlessly tie on an apron, roll up their sleeves and get to it.
Despite her gift, Nathalie didn’t always consider being a chef, “You don’t wake up and say I have a talent for this,” she said. It wasn’t until she stepped in for the chef in her sophomore year college dorm that she unearthed a yearning. “You wake up and think gee, I love doing this, and I love feeding a crowd.” However, this realization was anything but easy. “I told my mother I wanted to be a chef, and she said, ‘Oh no, ladies don’t cook,’” Nathalie said, describing the culinary scene of the 60s.