The peanut has deep roots in South America. In fact, the ancient ancestors of the modern-day peanut were recently traced back to the areas of Bolivia and Peru. Peanuts have been a familiar part of the diets of people living in these areas for centuries, from traditional complex mole sauces to empanadas filled with peanuts and potatoes. The love of peanuts continues today and you can see it on grocery store shelves too.
When you imagine a classic menu in the American South, what comes to mind? Fried chicken, pork BBQ, mac and cheese and collards, for sure. Kimchi fried rice might take you by surprise then at Chef Lee Gregory’s restaurant The Roosevelt in Richmond, Virginia. But Chef Lee says this dish makes perfect sense for a Southern menu.
When I first started my career as a kitchen apprentice, I was attracted to the kitchen brigade in the Western kitchen. Eventually I was recruited to an area where there very few restaurants with authentic Asian food. That was the turning point in my life when I decided to start figuring out how to cook food from home. And I never looked back.
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