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Chef in Blairsville's Profile

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Dear RuBo: My Name Is Not Fucking "Sweetie"

Several days after the fact, am finally getting around to commenting on this, because I've been, well, cooking. I'm a southern chef living north of Atlanta in the mountains, where everyone is friendly and personable. I might point out the reason we Southerners, of all ages and socio-economic values, call each other sweetie, hun, and darlin', is because the people at the table we've never seen before in our lives, are most likely our cousins-by-marriage-twice-removed.... because in the South, we're all, well, uh....related. Cheers, sweetie!

Dec 11, 2010
Chef in Blairsville in Features

Disappointed in Dillard

I am in the unique position of being a Southerner by birth to Southern parents, but raised in a neighborhood in Miami where 7 languages were spoken. I'm a 4-star professional caterer of international & southern-fusion cuisine, with leanings toward Cuban, Greek and Italian.

I happen to live in the NE Georgia mountains and visit Dillard House at least once a year with a slew of friends who look foward to the yearly trek. We all, including myself, love the food for what it is --- freshly prepared (NOT CANNED) Southern fare (Dillard House publishes a cookbook of their recipes.) And yes, Country Ham is a different product than the ham steaks many northerners are used to. Country Ham is cured and dried, much like jerky, and is so salty, it is traditionally soaked in water before cooking.

I've visited restaurants in nearly every region of our great country. Many are popular for reasons unbeknownst to me. But if the food does not please your or my sophisticated palate, we must remember the patrons of such restaurants would neither enjoy nor appreciate the delicacies you and I revere. I think we must relish the EXPERIENCE of visiting popular regional restaurants, rather than compare them to trendy spots we frequent, or even to the foodie dishes from our own kitchens. For the EXPERIENCE is the joy in life -- meeting locals and travelers from around the country, and tasting regional foods that will expand our horizons. Cheers to the Dillard House for its charming Southern hospitality and recipe for success.