Moskin says the synergy has high potential: "Like California in the 1970s — when Alice Waters collaborated with farmers, foragers and cheesemakers on the food at Chez Panisse — the South today has just the right combination of climate, culinary skill, regional chic and receptive audience." She says many Southern chefs are working along the same line as chef Sean Brock, from Wise County, Virginia, whose Charleston restaurant Husk " serves only food produced south of the Mason-Dixon line, from Georgia olive oil to Tennessee chocolate to capers made from locally foraged elderberries. . . . Perhaps most important, they are paying (and charging) big-city prices for down-home ingredients: money that is keeping food traditions, and small producers, alive."
Moskin notes, "The quest for 'real' Southern food isn’t new," citing the Southern Foodways Alliance and Slow Food USA. "Today, purists believe, Southern cooking is too often represented by its worst elements: feedlot hams, cheap fried chicken and chains like Cracker Barrel." DeFelice told her, "My mother didn’t cook like that, and my grandmother didn’t cook like that. And if you want to come down here and talk about shrimp and grits, well, we’re tired of that, too. Southern cooking is a lot more interesting than people think.” (Read more)