Host Stephanie Burt travels the Southern United States (with a fork!) and chats with some of the most interesting voices in the culinary South. From chefs to farmers, bakers to brewers, and pitmasters to fishermen, they all have a story. Listen and learn more behind some of your favorite foods.
Craig Richards, Lyla Lila (Atlanta, GA)
With Labor Day behind us, a bit of a break in the high humidity, and college football on the television, it’s evident that fall temps are around the corner. This time of year, my mind doesn’t turn to pumpkin spice, it turns to all things pasta. Craig Richards of Lyla Lila in Atlanta, Ga. is a true pasta professional, having learned the craft under the renowned Lidia Bastianich, working with her and her restaurant group in Kansas City and Pittsburgh before moving to Atlanta to cook at La Tavola. From there he eventually became the Executive Chef of Ford Fry’s St. Cecilia and the VP of Culinary for that restaurant group, honing his pasta making skills and unique cooking point of view every step of the way. Lyla Lila is the first restaurant of his very own, and it welcomes diners with a warm hospitality and plenty of pasta deliciousness. Come back into its kitchen with me, and learn all the specifics about the art, and the science, of my favorite fall food.
242: Frank Stitt, Highlands Bar & Grill, Chez Fonfon, Bottega (Birmingham, AL)
There is a magic picnic basket on this show, a fantastical idea of a dream meal, and I struggle to recount how many of my 240+ guests have included a dish from Frank Stitt. Let’s just say it’s more than a few.. Writer Charles Gaines in Garden & Gun called him the Godfather of Southern Cuisine, and this James Beard award winner has built a dynasty of dining delight in Birmingham, AL with Highlands Bar & Grill, Chez Fonfon, and Bottega. A studious youth, he turned his philosophical eye from studying Plato to learning from Alice Waters, Simca Beck, and Richard Olney, not to mention Jeremiah Tower, but he’s still as delighted at seasonal produce coming in the kitchen door as he;s ever been, the rotation of the culinary calendar a deep well of inspiration. That enthusiasm weaves its way through his restaurants, his staff, and the dishes that are crafted, and the idea of a restaurant as revelry, as reverence, and as a respite is perhaps Stitt’s true philosophy shining forth.
241: Amanda Storey, Jones Valley Teaching Farm (Birmingham, AL)
In times like these, it’s good to go back to the garden, and with school back in session, that’s exactly where some children in Birmingham, AL are headed. Jones Valley Teaching Farm is located in the city’s downtown, and its patchwork of small, urban farms within a single community is reshaping the stories and futures for those nearby. Amanda Storey is the Executive Director of the farm, where she’s been an enthusiastic advocate, volunteer, and employee for 10 years — four of which have been spent in her current role. Her passion for the connection between food and community began in her early career, and like me, she sees food through the lens of the people it touches. In a place where weeds once grew in abandoned lots, Jones Valley Teaching Farm is growing hope and imagination for a different future.
240: Brian Hart Hoffman, Bake from Scratch / Hoffman Media (Birmingham, AL)
Brian Hart Hoffman is a force. Co-president and chief creative officer of Hoffman Media, he oversees the editorial planning and brand direction for all publications and books. He’s written three books and is a frequent guest on morning shows, but during my recent visit to Birmingham, AL, we focused on his Bake from Scratch magazine since he was hosting the Southern Baking Retreat. Just as he encouraged me as a fledgling podcaster, he encourages a love of baking and community in so many people who cross his path. His enthusiasm is infectious, and his thirst to be a better baker is ever with him, and I’m happy to call him my friend.
239: Kalifa Shabazz, Shabazz Seafood (Savannah, GA)
I had one of the best fried fish sandwiches I’ve had in a long while recently at Shabazz Seafood in Savannah, Ga. Whiting is fried crispy hot to order, and it’s sandwich with a stellar reputation in Savannah. But, this take out spot that opened its order window in 1989 hasn’t been known much outside the city until recently. That all changed when it was featured this year on Netflix’s Fresh, Fried, and Crispy, and that happened because Kalifa Shabazz, who grew up working with her parents after school, found a place for herself in the business and a calling for her new profession when she began doing social media for the restaurant. Mom and Savannah Alderwoman Estella Shabazz and dad Yusuf Shabazz are community leaders, and Kalifa’s already thinking about how she can support the community further.
238: Sara Bir, Chef, Author, & Forager, The Pocket Paw Paw Cookbook (Marietta, OH)
Paw paw season is almost here. From late August through October, the largest native fruit to North America -- and growing in many parts of the South -- begin to ripen. These fruit are in the custard apple family and are enjoying a culinary renaissance, and so to learn more about these wild edibles, I turn to Sara Bir, the author of The Pocket Paw Paw Cookbook, just released with beautiful illustrations and plenty of ways to utilize your foraged fruit. Sara is a chef, writer, and self professed plant nerd. Her book, The Fruit Forager's Companion won a 2019 IACP Cookbook Award. She’s a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, an editor for the website Simply Recipes, and her work has been featured and Saveur, Lucky Peach, and Paste Magazine, as you’ll hear, and she always leaves me inspired to read more, cook more, and get out in the natural world more.
An exceptional podcast for anyone who loves food.
Host Stephanie Burt takes you on a wonderful food journey throughout the American south weaving and navigating her way from plate to plate from city to city. She interviews some of the most interesting people throughout region all of whom are doing amazing things. The podcast feels less like a dry/formal one on one question and answer podcast session and more like friends having coffee over a great slice of pie, or sharing a beer and chatting into the evening. I have learned a great deal from the Southern Fork and recommend it to anyone interested in southern food and culture. Each week we are fortunate to venture along with her as she asks some of the best questions (what’s keeping you up at night) or my particular favorite, the magic picnic basket segment, which I have incorporated into the conversations I have with friends and coworkers. If I could rate this 10 stars I would, she absolutely deserves them!!!
Really enjoy this podcast!!!
I like all the episodes but just listened to the Foggy Ridge one and especially liked it. I had the cider a few years back at The Sweetgrass Dairy Shop (Amazing) in Thomasville GA. I think you did an episode on them too? That’s probably why I went there. Sad they don’t make the cider anymore but after listening to this episode I’m excited to try other ciders that use their apples. Also loved the Vivian Howard episode and Rodney Scott and Rappahannock Oyster and so many others. So many people/places I’d never have known about had I not heard about them here! I know there are more places I’ve checked out. Just can’t remember them all!
Great listen every week
Stephanie is a charming host and talks with an interesting stream of guests. If you like food and drink you’ll love the southern fork!