Suzanne Vizethann was practically raised on creamed corn in her childhood home in Buckhead, just five miles from her breakfast and lunch restaurant, Buttermilk Kitchen. The canned variety served as the base for the corn fritters her dad would fry up for family dinners.
Hints of Susan Rebecca White’s Georgia upbringing appear on her table as regularly as they do in her books—but rarely in the form of a Southern-fried cliche. Take her riff on a childhood favorite. “When I was little, my mom would make fried toast with a hole cut out in the middle and an egg cooked inside it,” says the Atlanta native.
Kamal Grant, owner of Sublime Doughnuts, has built a career devising flavors no one expects to see in a doughnut box, like strawberry shortcake and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup. But long before that, his mother, Nidia Grant, was innovating at the family dinner table.
Jay Swift, chef-owner of 4th & Swift, and his son Jeb Aldrich, chef de cuisine at 4th & Swift, are Baltimore natives with fond memories of weekend fishing trips on Chesapeake Bay and raucous get-togethers around picnic tables piled high with freshly steamed blue crabs.
Judith Winfrey is the co-owner of Love Is Love Farm at Gaia Gardens and the executive director of leadership and hospitality at Resurgens Hospitality Group, which includes Restaurant Eugene and Holeman and Finch Public House.
Every holiday, Tony Morrow gathers with thirty or so family members at his mother and stepfather’s house for a massive feast that includes turkey and cornbread stuffing with giblet gravy, baked ham, chitterlings, collards, macaroni and cheese, cranberry sauce, and Irons’s signature sweet potato souffle—a creamy, nutmeg-spiced casserole thickly blanketed with a candy-sweet topping of coconut and pecans.
Joe Truex, the executive chef at Watershed on Peachtree, hails from Mansura, Louisiana—the heart of food-obsessed, French-speaking Cajun country. The youngest of seven kids in a Catholic family, Truex was weaned on crawfish bisque, coush-coush, and gumbo served alongside a baked sweet potato.