I learned to cook from the women in my family for sure, but I also learned to cook from Nathalie Dupree. Probably starting around early middle school age, I would post up by the TV on Saturday afternoons to catch many of the cooking shows on PBS, and Nathalie not only showed me how to make a coconut cake, she also taught me that, just by her presence on my screen, Southern food was worth noticing, worth learning to cook, worth celebrating. Nathalie is one of the American masters of home cooking. She has won James Beard Awards for books Southern Memories and Comfortable Entertaining as well as her most recent, Nathalie Dupree’s Mastering the Art of Southern Cooking. She was, among many other things, also the Founding Chairman of the Charleston Food and Wine Festival and a founder of the Southern Foodways Alliance, two entities, that, if you listen to this podcast, you know I’m very connected to. When I first moved to Charleston more than a decade ago, Nathalie was a far away figure in the culinary stratosphere, but over the years, we’ve gotten to know one another, and I’ve even sat on the couch a few times where we conduct this interview, gleaning advice on navigating freelance life. I know I’m not alone in that, as she is a mentor to many, all while still creating content, both for her books and for The Post and Courier, and still cooking almost every day. On this particular day, we chatted in the living room, sipping on Diet Cokes, while a large fish carcass for fish stock simmered at a low boil in her kitchen.