There's a handful of Southern cookbook writers who also are ambassadors for the way of life that brought us shrimp and grits, biscuits and gravy and sweet tea.
Among them are Matt and Ted Lee, brothers from Charleston, S.C., who have embraced their native dishes and become chroniclers of what some say is the only original American cuisine. Their love affair with Southern food led to the Lee Bros. Boiled Peanuts Catalogue, which specializes in Southern pantry staples (view it online at boiledpeanuts.com), and a string of award-winning cookbooks, including The Lee Bros. Southern Cookbook: Stories and Recipes for Southerners and Would-be Southerners (W.W. Norton, 2006). They are frequent guests on Food Network and Travel Channel shows.
The Lees, who were in St. Petersburg in 2010, will return to the Tampa Bay area at 6:30 p.m. May 9 for a demonstration class at Apron's Cooking School in the Publix at Citrus Park in Tampa.
In 2010, they used recipes from Simple Fresh Southern (Clarkson Potter, 2009), as the basis for a meal at Savannah's restaurant (now under new ownership as Ricky P's Orleans Bistro) .
They will do the same thing at Apron's — cook from recipes in their most recent cookbook, The Lee Bros. Charleston Kitchen (Clarkson Potter, 2013). They'll make Henry's Cheese Spread; Frogmore Soup; Shrimp and Grits; Matt's Four-Pepper Collards; and Syllabub with Strawberries and Black Pepper. Syllabub is a British dessert traditionally made with cream sweetened with sugar and then curdled with wine.
The class is $50 and can be reserved online at publix.com/aprons/schools or by calling (813) 926-4465. The cooking school is upstairs at the Publix at 7835 Gunn Highway.
Janet K. Keeler, Times food and travel editor