With Mardi Gras just around the corner on February 24, itï¿½s time to turn your culinary compass South to explore ï¿½new Southern" ï¿½ the fresh, flavourful cuisine experiencing an exciting international revival.
magazine named new Southern 2009ï¿½s Cuisine of the Year in its recent annual trends issue, calling it a ï¿½culinary revolution". Now, trend watchers expect its revival to influence home and restaurant menus across North America as home cooking emerges as a growing trend.
According to food trends expert Dana McCauley, new Southern takes traditional Southern flavours and fresh seasonal produce, such as leafy greens, sweet potatoes, sweet onions and peppers, and gives them a modern update.
ï¿½New Southern is gaining momentum across the U.S. and Canada, but itï¿½s not really a ï¿½newï¿½ cuisine ï¿½ more accurately, itï¿½s an exciting revitalization of traditional soulful cooking," McCauley says. ï¿½Due in part to the renewed appreciation everyone gained for all things Southern after the devastating effects of hurricanes Ike and Katrina, the resurgence of Southern cuisine sees updates on grits, spoon bread, and pecan pie recipes turning up in cookbooks and on menus from sea to shining sea."
Chef Linton Hopkins of Atlantaï¿½s Restaurant Eugene says new Southern is a marriage of his Southern sensibilities with French training. ï¿½Just because we use cornmeal and pecans doesn't mean our cooking isn't a high art."