Southern food fans likely know Matt and his brother Ted already, and the outline of their story: siblings who grew up in Charleston, South Carolina and were stranded in dead-end jobs in New York City after college. They founded a mail-order source for southern snacks (The Lee Bros. Boiled Peanuts Catalogue, www.boiledpeanuts.com), and became food writers when one of their customers, an editor at Travel + Leisure, asked them to road-trip South Carolina in search of great food. They have gone on to write more than 25 stories for T+L, in locales as far-flung as New Zealand and Ethiopia. In 2000, Matt and Ted brought a refreshingly scrappy, ravenous voice to the food coverage in the New York Times. Their first story, about being homesick southerners stranded in New York City and trying to find raw peanuts at the Hunts Point Market in the Bronx, brought to life (http://tinyurl.com/njhw3t) a corner of New York that even most New Yorkers had never heard of. They wrote about a Tennessee corn-cob winemaker in Gourmet, and for Food & Wine, a road-trip to hardscrabble Appalachian Kentucky, illustrated with their own photos (http://tinyurl.com/oqk3jv), among many others. But it was their first cookbook that put them on the map: The Lee Bros. Southern Cookbook swept the 2007 awards season, winning Amazon Editors' #1 Best Cookbook of 2006, two IACP awards (including the Julia Child Award) and two James Beard Awards, including Cookbook of the Year. In the years since, the landscape has changed substantially for southern food. Matt and Ted can speak to the state of southern food today with the perspective of knowing where it's been, as well as where it's going. In their two next cookbooks, The Lee Bros. Simple Fresh Southern (Clarkson Potter, Nov. 3, 2009) and The Lee Bros Charleston Kitchen (Clarkson Potter, 2012) they moved a deeper discussion of southern food into the mainstream. Their new book brings them back to the journalism of their Times years: "Hotbox" is a deep dive into a subculture hiding in plain sight, the high-stakes world of catering in New York City. Matt lives in Charleston and New York. More info and tour dates can be found at the bros' author web site, www.mattleeandtedlee.comRead more Read less
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