When the James Beard Foundation recently announced its 2015 inductees to the Who’s Who of Food & Beverage in America, we at Atlanta magazine were thrilled to see one of our own among the honorees: Nathalie Dupree.
Dupree has written fourteen cookbooks, including “Mastering the Art of Southern Cooking” (2012), which she coauthored with frequent collaborator Cynthia Graubart. The tome became an instant classic and was her third cookbook to win JBF honors. Dupree has also been the host of more than 300 national and international cooking shows that have aired on PBS, the Food Network, and the Learning Channel. A founder of Southern Foodways, she was named a “Grand Dame” of Les Dames d’Escoffier, an international organization of top women in the culinary field, in 2011.
Dupree wrote her first column for Atlanta magazine in 1981—describing how to tote a picnic of gazpacho, spiced chicken drumettes, and pavlova to a symphony concert at Chastain or Piedmont Park. The same issue contained a mayoral debate including candidate Andrew Young, a feature on CDC’s Ebola fighters, and a short item on 27-year-old Bill Campbell, who had just signed on with the U.S. Department of Justice Anti-Trust Division, warning his former colleagues at Kilpatrick & Cody that, “I’ve gained a lot of experience here, but I’ll now use that knowledge to fight white-collar crime, even if it’s against you.”
A longtime Ansley Park resident, Dupree blossomed along with the city. Her most enduring run with the magazine was from 1994 to 1997, when she wrote a monthly cooking column for our “Atlanta Life” section. I was fortunate to be her editor during those years, and my own family meals certainly benefitted by that association. In fact, there are still many stained, dog-eared printouts of her recipes among my files. Dupree was an early advocate for regional cuisine and locally grown produce. She and Ann Brewer, a pioneer of Atlanta’s farmers market movement who passed away in January at age 85, first met in the early 70s, when Ann was a newlywed and lived next to Dupree’s restaurant in Covington.
Dupree now lives in Charleston, SC, but we like to think she’ll always be an Atlantan at heart. Congrats to her on this very deserving recognition! Click here to read Michele Cohen Marill’s 1991 profile of an ambitious Dupree who was still trying to prove herself to New York editors. Turns out, she was just getting started.