Here in the Deep South, people may be Catholic or Baptist, or die hard SEC football fans, but the unedited truth is, food is our religion. It is the heart and soul of all we do, from birth to death, in every consolation and celebration, it brings us together and solidifies us as a community again and again.
All the best food (and music) are in someone's home kitchen or in a backyard you've probably never visited. Respect and recognition of the sense of community provided in those places and by those experiences inspires and informs all I do in my business.
It is my belief food shouldn't be confusing, overwhelming or intimidating-it should accommodate our needs, both physically and socially. Foods of all kinds, healthy, hearty, ethnic, or comfortable can be accessible, affordable, and achievable.
My approach is often a little wild, slap dash, rustic, off the cuff. The food industry may sometimes see this view as savage, but I embrace the reality that anyone can learn the skills of most trades. Unbridled enthusiasm and wreckless abandon, however, cannot be taught.
A kitchen without a good cast iron skillet and a sharp knife should reexamine its purpose. Always learn, grow, and feed the passion that is community.
So word, Julia. Word.