Bonus Material: Thanksgiving with The Lee Bros.

In Discussion by Erin L. Cox

By Erin L. Cox

Simple Fresh Southern

Famed food and wine writers Matt Lee and Ted Lee have made a name for themselves delving into the classic and delicious foods from their hometown of Charleston, South Carolina.  Last month, the Lee Bros. released a new cookbook of their favorite recipes entitled, The Lee Bros. Simple Fresh Southern: Knockout Dishes with Down-Home Flavor, which has received rave reviews.  But not only do they write about  Southern food, they also sell it!  If you have a hankering for boiled peanuts, fig preserves, barbecue sauce, and other Southern delicacies, do check out their catalog. Publishing Perspectives sat down with the Lee Bros. to get their take on Thanksgiving:

PP: Are there classic dishes or family recipes that you make every year that help define the holidays for you and your family?  Are these recipes you ever change or tamper with?
Lee Bros: In some years, Chestnut Mont Blanc for dessert; in others a crown roast of lamb.  Everyone in the family is always tampering with the recipes, absolutely nothing is sacrosanct!!

PP: In past years, there have been trends to deep-fry turkeys, to make turduckens, and to include some non-traditional spices and stuffings to enhance the Thanksgiving or Christmas meal.  Are there any such enhancements this year that you foresee?  Is there something that you are trying this year for the first time?
Lee Bros: We don’t like to torture our food, though we do relish a nice kitchen challenge on occasion.  Cooking for a crowd is challenging enough, however, and a simple roast turkey of extremely high quality—an heirloom breed, humanely raised in a free-range environment—is delicious enough that we’re inclined to leave well enough alone.

PP: While your cooking tends to focus on your Southern roots, where do you draw inspiration for new recipes?
Lee Bros: Southern cookbooks, old and new; creative chefs throughout the South (and in fact the nation).  Sometimes even a bad dish has a good idea contained inside it, like the combination of shrimp and deviled eggs in an old Southern casserole, which inspired our Shrimp and Deviled Egg Salad Rolls.

PP: Has the recession put a different spin on cooking this year?  Do you find people enjoying more comfort food during uncomfortable times?
Lee Bros: We’re all more mindful of how we spend our dollars and our time.  And people seem more aware that since food is essential, the home kitchen is a place where quality of life can be sustained—and even enhanced—in tough economic times.

PP: If you could have any chef in the world cook a meal for you for the holidays, who would it be and why?
Lee Bros: She would be Lidia Bastianich, who epitomizes savvy and elegant home cooking (even though she made her name through her restaurants).  Having her cook an American Thanksgiving with Adriatic flair would be an unforgettable experience.

BUY: The Lee Bros. Simple Fresh Southern: Knockout Dishes with Down Home-Flavor

WATCH: The Lee Bros. create a Thanksgiving meal on a fixed budget.

CHECK OUT: The Lee Bros. Boiled Peanut Catalogue.  You will not be disappointed!

About the Author

Erin L. Cox

Erin L. Cox has worked as Business Development Director for Publishing Perspectives. She is a Senior Associate at Rob Weisbach Creative Management, where she represents writers and handles publicity and advertising clients.