Chef Bill Smith Demystifies Gravy at Southern Season This Monday

bill_photoPumpkin pie may polarize, and oyster dressing may excite, but there’s no Thanksgiving food which terrorizes so reliably as gravy.

“People are always calling me up at this time of the year, sounding as if they are standing at the stove with whisk in hand, and asking for instructions on making it,” reports chef Bill Smith of Chapel Hill’s Crook’s Corner.

Smith (whose status as the son of a renowned Jerusalem artichoke pickle maker earned him a spot in my seasonal pickle story this week) is now bringing his gravy expertise to Southern Season ‘s cooking school. He’s teaching a course this Monday at 6 p.m. For $50, participants receive instruction in three different gravy-making methods. Continue reading

Italian-American Grandmother Hosts Pop-Up at Butcher & Bee



Maybe you make regular trips to the Bronx to eat meatballs. Maybe you grew up down the block from an Italian grocer in New Jersey. No matter your red sauce background, Nicole Albano claims, you’ve never eaten anything like her grandmother’s cooking.

“I bet very few people, if any, in Charleston have ever experienced Italian-American food like this,” says Albano, who’s spearheading a pop-up Butcher & Bee dinner with Ann Albano at the stove. “Though there are very good Italian restaurants in Charleston, and plenty of relocated northeast Italian Americans from New York, Boston and Philadelphia, I would say that most are likely more familiar with Italian-American restaurant food.”

By contrast, Albano says, her “nan” works in a Depression-era idiom which prizes versatile, belly-filling dishes. Although the menu for the Oct. 27 event hasn’t yet been finalized, Albano’s specialties include fried zucchini, stuffed artichokes and chicken parmigiana. Continue reading